PROBABLY all of us want to feel beautiful or attractive--whether we're girls or boys, men or women. Among other things, television commercials and programs always imply that good looks are important. Sometimes they try to persuade us that if you dress a certain way or have a particular hairstyle, you'll be more desirable and make more friends.
It's tempting, isn't it? Just get that special pair of shoes and you'll be special! The thing I always wonder about is: What happens when you take the shoes or the makeup or whatever off? Do you stop being special? What if the shoes wear out or go out of fashion?
It seems as if there must be a better way to be beautiful and to make friends, something that's more permanent--that won't wear out or go out of fashion. Have you ever thought about beauty as something all of us have from God? The Bible tells us that God made everything. So we can honestly say that we are God's children. In Ecclesiastes the Bible also says of God's creation, ``He hath made every thing beautiful in his time'' (3:11). Really to understand beauty, then, we need to know at least a little bit about God and His love for His whole creation, including us.
Learning more of God, who is Spirit, shows us that the essence of true beauty isn't in a physical body but in what we are inside. If you think about people you love or admire, you'll probably find that the thing that makes you really love them is something from within--their joy, perhaps expressed as a great sense of humor, for example. Other qualities that make us beautiful and attractive are love, grace, intelligence, kindness, and goodness.
These qualities come to us from God, whom Christ Jesus taught us to know as divine Love. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, explains that Love, God, is the source of all beauty. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she writes, ``It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness'' (p. 247).
That loveliness is within us and is spiritual, not material. So it will last quite a bit longer than special clothes, and it will never go out of fashion. We can start expressing more of it by reminding ourselves each day that we have beautiful qualities from God! Expressing this beauty is natural to us because we are God's spiritual children. And we can bring out our true beauty by expressing ourselves in more spiritual ways.
For example, instead of being moody, we can pray to God to know that real joy is constant. God is divine Love, and He is never moody! So we don't need to be moody either. And joy is much more beautiful than moodiness. Anger sometimes tries to take away our good looks. A scowling face and bad temper aren't very attractive to anybody, and they don't really make us feel good either. Instead of being angry, stop for a few moments and think about how much God loves you.
How much is that? Go outside on a clear night and look at all the stars in the sky. You'll see a lot of them out there if you live in a place where you can get a good look. And there are more that you can't see. There are billions and billions. Even if you could count up every single star, that still would not equal the love God has for each one of us. That's because God is infinite Love.
Fear is another thing that would rob us of beauty. Fear of strangers or of wearing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing. Here's where prayer to divine Love, to God, will help, even in small things. Take a second to ask God, ``What shall I say?'' And listen for the answer that comes. At some times you'll have to listen more carefully than others. But with practice, you'll hear the right answers--the beautiful thoughts God gives you.
Beauty is something that we all want --and that we all have! God has already given it to each of us when He created us as His reflection. Take some time to think about your beauty each day. If you are willing to work at accepting God's thoughts about yourself and others, you will be sure to see a difference!