Wednesday, May 7, 2014

THE BLESSING OF A PRETTY HEART



I would like to share a devotional thought with you today. This came as a result of prayer and meditating on what St. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:9. I hope it will bless you.

THE BLESSING OF A PRETTY HEART

“And I want women to be modest in their appearance.[a] They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” (1 Timothy 2:9)

What a truck load of controversy has come from this simple statement made by Paul over 2,000 years ago. Some churches have even made doctrines from it.

Make no mistake, God is, and always has been, all about the heart. Paul was not making a fashion statement. He was making a heart statement.

So should we refrain from wearing make-up, fixing our hair or wearing stylish clothing? Not at all. Fixing myself up to feel confident, or to bring a smile to my husband’s face, is a good thing. Doing the same, to draw attention and adoration to myself is not.

They say that “Money is power”. Well, beauty is power too. Every 14-year-old girl who has ever watched a boy blush and stammer in her presence knows this. What we fail to remember is that power corrupts.

On the beach one day when I was a little girl, a teenage boy scooped up a sunbather and carried her into the water. As I watched her being carried in his strong arms and saw his admiring gaze, I made a wish that one day I would be beautiful. It seemed an innocent wish at the time….

I did not recognize the voice of the Tempter. I didn’t realize that I desired power. I only wanted to be loved; didn’t I? And I did not realize how desperately hungry I would become for those admiring words and gazes. My self-worth became tied up in whether I perceived myself to be pretty or not. When I received the admiration I desired, I felt powerful; superior even. When I did not receive it, I felt inferior and unworthy of love. The power I had desired consumed me, either way.

So what do I do? How do I resolve this issue? What do women do who have never been considered pretty? How do they feel good about themselves? How do they see passed their faces and bodies and into their hearts?

Once a friend told me, “You have a pretty heart.” It was the nicest compliment I have ever received, yet the thought nagged me: Does that mean I don’t have a pretty face? Ugh! What’s wrong with me?

“I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Romans 7:15)

I heard it said once that if you go into a dark room and rebuke the darkness, nothing will change, but turn on the light and the darkness flees. Neglecting my outer appearance might match the ugliness of my heart, but it will not change it. I need to find out how to turn on the light.

Here is an excerpt from Proverbs 31 (The Message) that gives a clear picture of a woman with a pretty heart.

Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
    and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
    and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
    and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
    her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
    but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
    Festoon her life with praises!

Notice that this woman dresses well and obviously takes pride in her appearance. It doesn't say she has a pretty face or lovely body because that is irrelevant. Her beauty is in her generous nature and loving conduct. She has a pretty heart.
 
So how do I turn on the light that dispels the darkness of vanity in my own heart? Let me sing praises as I choose which clothes to wear for the day. Let me nurture a beautiful attitude of love and forgiveness as I apply my make-up. As I fix my hair, let me give glory to God for who he is and all he has done for me. Let each choice I make today to bless and honour others draw out the beauty of a pretty heart in me.

Blessings on your day, Dear Ones, and may you walk in the beauty and grace of a pretty heart today.

Blessing hugs,
Teresa

2 comments:

NanaConnie said...

Beautiful, my friend, just like you! I love the thought yo put into a post like this and how it blesses everyone who visits. Thank yo so much -- your heart is indeed pretty. :-D

Debbie said...

This is wonderful, Teresa! Thanks for sharing your heart!
With 3 teen girls, this is something I want them to learn.