Read His Words Before Ours!
1 Corinthians 13
Hot, fresh tears stung my eyes as the four walls of the dressing room seemed to close in on me. As quickly as I put the shirt on, I ripped it off of my body, practically throwing it at my mom on the other side of the door. If the shirt wasn’t too tight, it was too short, too low, too sheer, or just plain ugly. I had been here a thousand times before, but the tears still came every time. Trying to dress my uniquely-shaped body left me overwhelmed and exhausted. My grandma always told me that “Pretty is as pretty does”, but I wanted to feel beautiful on the outside.
That was long ago, and while the desire to feel beautiful on the outside hasn’t left, I have learned so much about beauty flowing from the love in our hearts.
As passionate lovers of Jesus, we are called to love God and love others.
What does this love for others even look like?
It doesn’t envy.
It doesn’t boast.
It isn’t arrogant.
It’s not rude.
It isn’t easily angered.
It isn’t selfish.
It isn’t irritable.
It isn’t resentful.
When we learn to love as Jesus loved (because, after all, He is love), then we strive to be patient and kind, to not envy or boast, to knock out our arrogance and rudeness, we pray away anger and selfishness, and practice not being irritable or resentful.
But unlike the hottest new trend, the cutest skinny jeans, or latest graphic mom t-shirt, we can’t just wake up one morning, decide we want to look beautiful on the inside, and instantly love everyone.
That kind of beauty takes time.
And while we strive to be more like Christ, that inward beauty comes naturally. It shows in everything we do, from the way we approach situations, to the way we react to bad news; from the way we treat the slow cashier, to the way we dress.
Yes, even the way we dress.
Ponder that for a minute.
When we love others,
we become beautiful on the inside,
which flows to the outside,
and comes across even in the way we clothe ourselves.
Think of the ten attributes of love mentioned above.
How many of those attributes do we as women struggle with when we get dressed every morning?
When love fills us to overflowing, there is no room to be envious of the body our friend’s sister has.
With love, there is no room to boastfully dress for others by trying to show off our fleek style.
Dressed in love, there is no room to arrogantly show off the features of our body that we love the most or feel the most proud of.
We will never perfectly “wear” these attributes of love.
But because of our love for Jesus, and our desire to love others because of Jesus, we should never be content with where we are.
Like finding pleasure in shopping for new threads, our passion to reflect Christ should take up closet space in our hearts. When we lean into His love, we reflect Him clearer, which makes our hearts more beautiful. The more beautiful our hearts become, the more that beauty will overflow into our outward appearance!
Our love for Jesus directly reflects our beauty!
Our love for Jesus directly reflects how we dress!
That is beautiful, and that…that is love.
This Bible Study first appeared on GracefullyTruthful.com and is property of Gracefully Truthful. Check out the website for more studies like this one!
From Bible studies to blogs, articles to musings of the heart, Kendra's writings are unbarred and raw - exactly how she speaks.