Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beauty and Success: How to Look and Be Your Best

By Ada Brownell

For some reason, humans follow other people like sheep following other sheep, even if they have no idea where they’re going.
Sheep will blindly, habitually, stupidly follow one another along the same little trails until they become ruts that erode into gigantic gullies, says Phillip Keller, a shepherd and Christian author.[1]
Keller says, “Instead of being one of the crowd, I am willing to be singled out, set apart from the gang. Most of us, like sheep, are pretty gregarious. We want to belong. We don’t want to be different in a big way, though we may wish to be different in minor details that appeal to our selfish egos.”
Yet,  it is the person who dares to be different who changes the world for the better.
One area where we usually don't want to be different is in the way we dress and style our hair. Yet, being unique in our appearance has value. How we dress demonstrates who we are. Whether we are fastidious, a perfectionist, modest, shy, too lazy to work on our appearance, trying to attract attention, or in rebellion, might show in what we wear on our bodies.
For sure if we keep our hair clean, brushed, and styled; our clothing clean, wrinkle-free, and well fit; and use colors and styles that complement our age, complexion, hair color, and body shape, it says we care about the details of life.
Appearance also sometimes demonstrates whether you are a leader or a follower.
Every person is uniquely attractive because we all are made in the image of God. Humankind finally figured out it’s not the color of our skin that matters, but we still don’t seem to know it’s what’s under our skin that counts.
My mom told me the most beautiful thing I can wear is a smile. But even a smile won’t cover an ugly attitude, hatred, envy, anger, lies, greed, jealousy, and rebellion.
Guys and gals who have the courage to be the person God wants them to be inside and out, despite what everyone else is doing, will earn respect. If you don’t believe that, think about a young individual you look up to because of who they are. Listen to how guys and girls treat and talk about people you know who aren’t respected.
People who dress modestly and tastefully—still staying in style—will create peer pressure. More than one person will want to be just like them. But the most attractive assets we can have are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness and self control, the fruits of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible in Galatians 5:22.
King Solomon, who had seven hundred wives, since having more than one wife was acceptable in Old Testament days, wrote, “Charm is deceptive. And beauty if fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:20NIV).
-Adapted and exerpted from Ada Brownell's book, IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU, a motivational Bible Study.

[1] Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd and His Sheep (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 65.