May 7 was our last meeting for the school year and we had a special tea party while we studied the topic of “Inner Beauty”. Throughout Set 8, we have been discussed different topics related to our outward appearance and behavior. These are all important, but we want to end by setting our focus on the most important thing of all—having a heart that is right before the Lord. Yes, we must be wise, discerning, and obedient in regards to our clothing, appearance, countenance, and manners. But all of these will naturally fall into place if we are loving the Lord with all of our heart. This is where true beauty begins.
It is easy for us to overemphasize outward things. We tend to get wrong impressions about people because of the way they look or dress. We often notice styles, fads, and fashions. We spend lots of time and money on things that are merely external. While we are using up our time and energy on the outward, God is looking at the inward—the thoughts and motives of our hearts (1 Sam. 16:6-7). As we get consumed with having a beautiful package, He is focused on the true product inside all the wrapping. Outward beauty is really just a picture of true inner beauty that God desires to develop in each one of us as He conforms us into the image of His Son. Physical beauty fades as we get older, but inner beauty will increase with age if we continue to obey the Lord and walk in His ways.
Have you ever found yourself wishing that you had someone else’s hair, your sister’s really cute outfits, your friend’s amazing smile, or that you could be just as pretty as so-and-so? Satan has deceived many young ladies into believing that they need to gain a particular look or certain standard of outward beauty. But keep in mind that there’s no such thing as an outward ideal—some perfect standard we are all trying to measure up. The enemy tries to distract us with many lies about our appearance. Some of the lies we looked at were:
- Lie: God is not enough to satisfy me. • Truth: Psalm 107:9
- Lie: Being beautiful will make me happy. • Truth: Prov. 31:30
- Lie: I’m ugly. • Truth: Psalm 139:14
- Lie: If I don’t wear the latest fashions, people won’t like me. • Truth: Rom. 12:2
- Lie: My body belongs to me. I can do what I want to with it. • Truth: 1 Cor. 6:20
Don’t give in to the world’s lies! They are empty and unable to satisfy. They bring confusion and sorrow, rather than fulfillment and joy.
God created everything. The entire universe already belongs to Him. Isn’t it incredible to think that something could be “of great price” in God’s sight? Scripture tells us that a meek and quiet spirit is of great price in the sight of God. Ornaments of gold and silver and outward beauty may be of great price in the eyes of this world, but not to God. It is our inner character that is so valuable to Him. It is beautiful to Him. It is precious in His sight. Why is this? It demonstrates humility. Pride is something God hates. Humility is something God loves. Meekness and quietness require humility and lowliness. This is something that the Lord notices and values (Ps. 10:17).
- Spend time seeking heavenly things instead of earthly things.
- Lean as much about Jesus as you can and imitate Him.
- Humble yourself daily by putting other people first, serving them, and giving up your own expectations.
- Submit joyfully to authorities.
- Do not defend yourself—let God defend you.
- Respond as Jesus would to those who irritate or offend you. Speak gently and kindly, forgive them, pray for them, and trust the Lord to take care of the situation.
- Rejoice in the suffering God allows, which is strengthening your character and conforming you into the image of His Son.
This is difficult to do. We cannot do it in our own strength. We must cry out to the Lord for help.
We ended our lesson with a story about a girl named Joanna. One of the girls volunteered to act out the story. As Joanna was faced with irritations and everyday problems, she chose to clothe herself with humility and in doing so, was cultivating inner beauty in her life.
For our activity time, we enjoyed making mini paper roses and enjoyed our adorable little tea snacks.
Everyone dressed up for the tea party, so that called for a group picture!
It was such a blessing to have all of you girls a part of Bright Lights this year. Let’s ask the Lord to give us wisdom each day as we seek to represent Him well. Remember, one of the best ways to be representatives of Christ is by cultivating inner beauty. As we focus on the inward—loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind—it will overflow to the outward! Others will see and the Lord will be glorified as we shine brightly for Him. He is worthy!