Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
(1 Peter 3:3-4)
This is my left hand. It isn't a pretty or well-manicured hand, but when paired with its mate (which took this picture) it can type with amazing speed and cook a mean pot roast. It can weed a flowerbed, prune a hedge, and help a neighbor haul in groceries from her car. It is a hand bears the scars of fifty years of living and serving others.
I have always admired well-manicured hands and healthy fingernails, neither which I possess. My daughter is the lucky recipient of those. Although she was cursed to inherit my short, pudgy fingers, her luxuriously long nails always look nice, whether they are painted or not. I guess the fingernail gene must have skipped my generation.
I could invest in some artificial nails or at least have a salon manicure once in awhile, but it would be a waste of my time and money. Like dye on my hair, the color never stays on my nails long enough for me to justify the expense, and I am not willing to sacrifice keyboarding speed for the sake of beauty. Manicures are great for other people but not for me. I'm too high-maintenance as it is!
It stands to reason that if God wanted me to have beautiful nails or straight hair or a rich husband, he would have given them to me. Fortunately, God sees me as beautiful even when I don't and has given me a heart that is content to see how truly wealthy I am because of the many ways he has blessed me. I may be gray-haired, over fifty, and drive my mother-in-law's hand-me-down Buick, but in my mind I am forty and drive a sporty new luxury car!
No matter what we look like on the outside, what's important to God is that we cultivate beauty on the inside. The amount of time and money we spend in salons or health spas to keep our exterior in tip-top shape doesn't matter much if we don't spend time with God cultivating pure hearts and gentle spirits. True beauty and radiance don't come in a bottle but rather from a heart deeply in love with the One who created beautiful things.
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