Beautiful Souls

Beautiful Souls

I Peter 3:3-4 (AMP) Your adornment must not be merely external—with interweaving and elaborate knotting of the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or [being superficially preoccupied with] dressing in expensive clothes; but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God.

I was having lunch with two of my daughters and the tiny tyrant (aka my grandson) when a lovely young lady stopped to speak with our oldest. After cordial introductions, my daughter informed me that she was the daughter of her future employer at the preschool. She told me that her mom would stop by soon and to be prepared for the sweet bundle of energy. I turned to the right and there she was in full effect. She began to commend me on my parenting. The God in my child evident of the investment of her parents. It was real and authentic. She was genuinely seeing what I have known all along that God is in my children. Yet, beyond that she made me feel significant in a role that is often marked by insignificance. She made me feel accomplished despite all the ways I know that I have failed my kids. She gave me grace in the abundance of overtures about my sweet girl even looking at her sister to tell her I know you must be the same. I felt validated that even when the world doesn’t make us feel special or important – that the Lord will find a way to do it through another.

Why wouldn’t I feel like a good mom? I have great kids. They all love the Lord. Each one born again. Each pursuing their own life path. I have raised a soldier now in law enforcement who is willing to lay down his life for others. I have a cancer survivor who didn’t just overcome 2% odds of survival but went on to graduate and become an engineer. A daughter and son-in-law in the ministry serving God with their very lives. Another daughter who despite a neurological disorder went to cosmetology school and is now working in a salon. Our youngest still undecided but killing it in school. Don’t get me wrong – they are not perfect but perfectly forgiven. Our partnership with the Lord paid off in our kids. I give Him all the Glory yet I still battle insignificance. Most days, I feel like a less than average parent. I am blessed yet feel insecure nevertheless. Do you?

Do you feel insecure? Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone. The truth is that I have decided that even the most confident person you may know battles hidden insecurities each and every day. The “perfect” lives, filters and images on social media make it worse. I applaud those who post original pictures without inspecting them closely for flaws and imperfections. God has been good to me. He has given me a life of purpose. He scripted a plan for my success. He intends for me to prosper in my soul and in life. Why do I feel small? Insignificant? Insecure?

I cannot see God. I cannot touch Jesus. I cannot sit and have a face-to-face conversation with the Holy Spirit. I cannot see my soul. The condition of my heart is only visualized but not clearly visible in the natural. I am created in the Image of God who to me is invisible. Naturally, it is much easier to constantly examine and evaluate my appearance or how things appear than really get to the important stuff like faith and confidence. The enemy heaps insecurity and insignificance on God’s People because it is the complete opposite of the Truth yet easily conceivable in our natural life. Comparison is the thief of joy. Social media and advertising play a huge role. Add to that the current trend to remove all identity in society right down to gender. It sounds like a good idea. To tear down walls and build up people when in fact it produces even more insecurity. God created each and every individual with a significant plan. He prepared a secure place for us. It will never be found or recognized in this world by everyone. From time to time, God will send messengers like the sweet woman yesterday who sees beyond the natural with supernatural eyes and an overflowing heart.

But let it be (the inner beauty of) the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, (one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature) which is very precious in the Sight of God.

Bell bottom pants are making a comeback, Lord help us. I didn’t like them the first time around and still don’t like them. I have a choice. I can wear clothes I hate to fit in or I can choose to wear what I prefer. I must decide what that is. I choose to wear modest and decent clothing or I could be convinced to let it all hang out because nobody wants to be a prude. The world thinks less is more in this category but I think a little more material wouldn’t hurt in most cases. Note, my conversation yesterday was on a shopping trip. School starts in just over a week and my daughter needed some back to school clothes. Not really! She wanted the perfect outfit for that stellar first day. It is important especially for her “streaks” picture on Snapchat. I say this tongue in cheek because we all like to make a great first impression.

We get all dolled up for church, work and going places according to what others might find acceptable. But what about our heart? What about our soul? Is my inner beauty outweighing my need for other affirmation? I can tell you this. I couldn’t tell you what the lovely woman I met yesterday was wearing. I can’t remember the color of her eyes or what her makeup looked like if she was wearing any. Clueless if she was wearing name brand clothing or even what she had on. I do know this – she had a beautiful soul. As she spoke about the Lord it was with full confidence and love. Her beauty was to build others not tear them down for her own ascent. In fact, I don’t believe any of our conversation was about her. It affirmed me. She talked about the Lord as if He was our close personal friend. She was loving. Kind. And beautiful from the inside out. She connected with the God in me and made me even more aware of Him. Kind of like when Mary went to visit Elizabeth and her baby leapt inside of her. The characteristics of a beautiful soul will make us abound on the inside while becoming increasing less concerned about external things.

Psalm 139:14 (AMP) I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

If you are battling insecurity with a bit of insignificance today, you are not alone. In fact, you probably represent the majority of people you live, work and worship with. The disguise of confidence that is stripped away in private to reveal a struggle so deep that it challenges the God in us every day. Insecurity is an expert weapon in the arsenal of the enemy to strip us of our identity. It is a lie that must be overcome. You are a Child of God. He made you on purpose! He designed you expertly. We must make the choice to praise God and give thanks because we are fearfully and wonderfully made. If there is something wrong with your design – it is calling the One who created you flawed which is certainly not the case. After He created everything – God called it good. You are good just the way you are. Adding Jesus to the mix makes you perfect… for your plan, purpose and every promise predestined for your life. You are complete. Now to be completely convinced so that your soul knows it well. This will change a poor self-image and ugly persona to a beautiful soul.

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