Inner Beauty Tip

If you were to choose, which gift would you want? A gift in a pretty gold box with a bow or one in a plain paper bag that looks like it's been used. Now be honest...Would you want the pretty package or the brown bag?

I have played the white elephant game before, where everyone brings gifts, and then you get pick one. And sometimes it's hard to decide. Do I pick the big one that I think is maybe going to have something really good in there or do I pick the one that doesn't look as good, but might have something even better? Because you never know!

I think if we would admit it, a lot of us are drawn to the pretty package. A brown bag may not even look like there is hardly anything in there. But what if we found out what was really inside each of these packages?

And let's say that in the pretty gold box, we found a couple rotten brown bananas, a smelly, dirty sock and an apple that's rotting too. All right, so not what we might expect. Right? Here was a pretty package and there was rotten fruit and a stinky sock. Not good! So let's say that what we found in the plain brown paper bag was a bracelet. And that the bracelet is gold and silver and has two hearts connecting with each other. The bag was plain packaging, but it had something really beautiful inside.

And so, as we think about these packages I want us to think about ourselves. Some of us might feel like we are plain Jane, a boring person on the outside. From our outer beauty we may just feel, we're just plain. And yet, we see people in our schools, in our churches, and all around that are in these really pretty packages. However, sometimes those people that seem to have it all together, the movie stars and the rock stars, may look perfect on the outside. But sometimes they might be dying away or rotting away on the inside. I have to admit, I was one of those people. People might have looked at me and said, man she's got it all together. But on the inside I was dying away, and there wasn't true beauty on the inside. It was all outer beauty.

And yet, you may feel today that you are just that plain Jane. That you don't look like anything special, you're not model material. You may not like certain parts of your body. Like me, you may have acne scars, or you might feel overweight, or have other issues. But you know what? On the inside God may be cultivating an inner beauty that radiates out. And you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, that changes your appearance. People are drawn to you because of the love that you have for other people, because of the love of Christ that is in you.

I want to encourage you to cultivate inner beauty; that inner beauty that only comes from spending time with Jesus. It's so hard to have any time in silence, but it's so important to get away. We have our music, we have our T.V., we've friends, cell phones, etc. that it's hard to unplug. I know, because these last few weeks I haven't taken that quality time with Jesus that I've needed. Sure I've spent some time in the morning, but I didn't do the real deep time of prayer and journaling. The time where I spend listening to God. And when I do break away and spend quality time with God, I felt so much different. The last few weeks I've been feeling confused and anxious, not knowing what to do. However, today I feel clarity again. I heard God speaking to me through my journal and I felt His love again.

I want to encourage you to spend quality time in prayer. Not legalistically, not saying we have to do this, this, and this. But spending that time with God so that your inner beauty can shine through. And that your inner beauty shines out, no matter what you look like on the outside. Whether you are the shiny package or the plain package. You can have inner beauty that enhances the outer beauty God has given you.

I encourage you to read over Psalm 139 this week. It talks about how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are special, no matter what you look like on the outside, no matter where you are at with your relationship with Jesus. You are special, and He wants you to know that today. I encourage you to cultivate your inner beauty.

Shelley Hitz has a heart is to help teen girls and women find their true beauty in Christ through her website, Shelley's openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing will inspire and encourage you. Download Shelley's book, "Mirror Mirror...Am I Beautiful?" for free: