The physical beauty we enjoy in our youth fades with age.
As we walk in harmony with God, however, he replaces our outer beauty with inner beauty.
He manifests in us the aspects of his divine nature that constitute true contentment—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
He teaches us that he is always good, his ideas and methods are always superior to ours, and his love for us is indeed unfailing.
Together, these attributes and this understanding translate into inner beauty.
A young woman spent an afternoon soaking up the wisdom of an elderly lady who had cultivated her relationship with God for many years.
Near the end of their session, the young woman said to her wise friend, “You are a truly beautiful person.”
With a twinkle in her eye, the elderly lady replied, “Thank you. I ought to be by now.”
The longer we walk in harmony with God, the more beautiful inside we become, if we pursue this outcome.
We visit art galleries to see the paintings, not the frames.
The messages the artists convey to the world are depicted in the paintings. The frames are just placeholders.
Great paintings overshadow their frames. Many people can describe the Mona Lisa, but few can recall the frame surrounding this masterpiece.
Our bodies are the frames for the painting God produces in us as we walk in harmony with him.
His message to the world is conveyed through our inner beauty. Our outward appearance is just the placeholder.
Therefore, we should be neither discouraged nor conceited about our physical attributes.
A rural Montana wildlife painter uses sandstone slabs from her ranch as her canvas. She incorporates the natural imperfections in the rocks into her landscapes.
The cracks, dried moss, stains, and indentations in the sandstone help make her outdoor scenes look true to life.
In the same way, God blends our imperfections into the picture he paints inside us, as we walk in harmony with him.
His love, acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption turn them into expressions of his mercy and grace.
Paintings do not decide to be beautiful. They passively portray the beauty created by the artist.
In contrast, inner beauty requires our deliberate pursuit and active cultivation.