Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Galatians 6:4-5
You’re beautiful. We’re beautiful people. We’re beautiful not just because of our physical attractiveness, or even because of the quality of our hearts. No, we are beautiful because Jesus Christ is in us, because His Spirit lives in us and works through us. Our faith in Christ is the load we should gleefully bear. We should be proud of being Jesus’ followers.
Now, if you ask self-appointed ‘beautiful people’ – celebrities, glitterati, the in-crowd, those disconnected by wealth or status – if they are beautiful, if they are special, if they are gifted above others, you should be prepared for their answer. Some would be humble; some might say they aren’t. And some might be honest in telling you that, yes, they’re beautiful, special, and gifted beyond others. I mean, it takes a lot of work to do this, look like this, to be me! Do they test their own actions to see where their beauty lies?
But let’s not be hard on them without being hard on ourselves. When was the last time we examined ourselves for why we think we’re special, why we think we’re pretty, why we think we’ve got something worthy of praise. A few verses ago, Paul reminded us that, if we think we’re special because of ourselves, we deceive ourselves. Overblown self-esteem comes from how we compare ourselves to others, from others telling us we are what we aren’t. In a story Jesus told, a Pharisee went to pray, beginning by praising himself for being better than others, especially the nearby dirty tax collector. The tax collector, on the other hand, humbly and desperately cried out, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
Who am I? Who are you? Of what are we proud? Are we the Pharisee or the tax collector? When we look in the mirror, do we see just our reflection there, or do we see ourselves as someone in whom resides the Savior’s heart? Are we doing our best by giving Jesus our best? What does your heart say?
When we lay down our pride and thankfully see ourselves as Jesus’ redeemed children, we see that this is the only pride, the only load, we need to bear. We’re beautiful because of Christ. Sure, it’s great to have others praise us, and we should always want to present our best selves. But we don’t need to heap much praise on ourselves. We should carry others’ loads instead, sharing Jesus with them so that they, too, might look in the mirror and see who He died and rose for.
Remember today: you’re beautiful.
For further reading: Jeremiah 31:30, Luke 18:9-14, 2 Corinthians 10:12, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Galatians 6:6
Lord, You make me beautiful. All praise to You alone.
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