It truly is God’s favour on us when we receive a revelation of His truth; and the lies that have us in bondage become unmasked. The lies don’t even have to have been spoken out over us; they often simply get absorbed from a lifestyle.
An example of this for me was that as a little girl, I loved to dance and wear pretty dresses. However, I didn’t have any ‘pretty’ dresses, only functional ones. So the only time I got to ‘dress up’ was when I went to ballet classes. If we were putting on a show, I had a pretty pink dress of layers of netting. I loved to dance around in it and feel beautiful.
My mum had an elder sister, whom she considered to be much more attractive than she was. I understand that the young men thought so too! So my mum tried not to draw attention to herself. Consequently she dressed my sister and I in this vein! Somehow, I believed and absorbed within me the lie that it was not appropriate to look beautiful or draw attention to myself, despite the desire inside me of wanting to!
I would vacillate between wanting to look attractive and yet being self-deprecating at the same time! I handled this by looking for attractive clothes in charity shops or ‘hand me downs’ from my cousin. Then, when complimented, I would counter, “oh! I only got it from a charity shop.” Somehow, in my mind, that made it alright. It felt like an acceptable compromise, inside me.
However, of course, the compliment actually is not about the item of clothes. It doesn’t matter whether it was expensive or cheap; whether it was bought from a charity shop or we made it ourselves. The person is complimenting us on our taste, our creativity or simply how attractive we look in that item of clothing.
The breakthrough came for me, when it dawned on me, how significant beauty is to God in His creation. He made things beautiful to bless us. Beauty brings a smile to people’s face and lifts their spirits. It ministers something of the love of God to them.
God made woman to be beautiful and to create beauty in lots of different ways. When you receive a compliment on your dress, your smile, your hair, a look you have created, or an item of jewellery you have chosen or something you have made; you have blessed that person. You have lifted them out of the mundane for a moment. You have enabled them to see something of the image of God and this lifts their spirits, just as a beautiful painting might do.
When we receive a compliment we allow them to enjoy the beauty they see and share the moment with them. We are also valuing who Father God has made us to be and can give thanks back to Him. As we become a small reflection of HIs beauty - an image bearer! Responding with a ‘thank you’ to them, involves them in the process, so valuing them and their opinion.
Beauty does need to come from the inside -from the heart - a heart that is able to receive from a God of beauty and reflect that into the world. This can occur in many different creative ways. We are in truth, image bearers of an awesome God!