Shadows, foundations, and lipsticks – oh my! As a wife and busy mom of four, most mornings find me up and about before my husband and kids. Devotions, workout, shower, and preparations for the day crowd my sunrise routine. I like to apply my makeup during that quiet time, so I am ready to face whatever the day brings.
Ladies, isn’t there something soothing about the ritual of sponging on foundation, choosing the perfect shade of lipstick, and penciling in our eyeliner? In addition to our morning makeup routine, we fuss with our hair and take a lot of care choosing the right outfit for the day’s activities. And the shoes…don’t get me started! Heels, wedges, flats, boots, strappy sandals – if you’re like me, you love them all!
As I was completing this process the other morning, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear. We spend a lot of time on our appearances. We conceal our blemishes, camouflage our problem areas, and cover our less desirable attributes. And there’s nothing wrong with putting our best selves forward!
The issue comes when we put more effort into our outward appearance than our inner selves. When we neglect the very core of who we are, it begins to show in some not-so-pretty ways on the outside. Our character and our conduct suffer.
Jesus had some very strong words for the Pharisees who were more concerned about appearing holy than actually being holy. He called them hypocrites – whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones. Outwardly, they were beautiful; but inside, they were full of all kinds of uncleanness and death. They worked hard at keeping up appearances, but underneath, there was only emptiness and deceit. Like lipstick on a pig!
Peter encourages women to put on the incorruptible beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit which is “very precious in the sight of God.” We must develop a strong prayer life and stay connected to our very Source. The apostle Paul encourages us to pray without ceasing, to keep up a steady conversation with the Lover of our souls. Jesus knows our needs before we even begin to pray, and He desires for our prayers to unlock the answers. And don’t forget to listen! I’m guilty of telling Jesus all about my will for a particular situation, but how important it is for us to stop, listen, wait on the Lord’s will in every circumstance.
His Word must become the very bedrock foundation of our lives. In a world of information overload, we must make time to steal away and get into His Word and allow His words to get into us. It is growing harder and harder to discern the truth from lies, and without the steadying influence of His truth deep in our souls, we are in danger of succumbing to the deceptions swirling around us. The Bible is truly His love letter to us – to convict us of sin, to convince us of His righteousness, and to convince us of who we are in Christ. I need its daily reminders!
Paul makes a wonderful observation when he says that our outward selves are perishing, but our inward selves are growing stronger day by day. So, smooth on the blusher and powder your nose, but let’s pay special attention to who we are in Christ. A little mascara never hurts, but a whole lot of Jesus makes us radiant.