Beauty may only be skin deep but ugliness is to the bone.
Over the years I have seen many things that I would mark as beautiful. The most beautiful thing I have ever seen is my wife. I still remember seeing her walk into the chapel. All I can say is wow!
I have also seen some things that I would mark as ugly.
Give me a few moments to share with you the three ugliest faces I have ever seen. Before I reveal them let me say that I all three of these “faces” I have once possessed and maybe at times, although I hope it is not too often, I still do.
Ugly face #1
I guess I was about 23 or 24. I was sitting talking with a group of my friends when I saw the first of the three ugly faces. We were all very much alike; we all thought we knew everything about everything. As usual our talk turned into a mini debate. To be honest I do not even know what the debate was about, but I do remember in the midst of the debate having what I would describe as an “out-of-body” experience. Some how I was seeing the situation from a different angle.
Finding myself as an observer of the debate I saw just what I looked like as a participant of this “know-it-all fest” and I did not like it.
Later that evening as I processed what I saw I recognized the ugly face of being a “know-it-all.” I wish I could say that I was able to instantly remove that face but I cannot. I can say that I see how ugly it is and I am working hard not to be that person.
Ugly face #2
During my sophomore year in high school I was blessed to play on a basketball team that won both a state and a national championship in basketball. “Confidence without cockiness” was a motto we developed to help us stay focused. I will admit that there is a very fine line between confidence and cockiness and I am sure we crossed that line many times.
We were a very successful team and beat some of the teams we played very badly. After winning the NACS national championship we were invited to the state house to be recognized. When we where walking in I saw the ugly face of arrogance.
At the same time of our recognition a school from Gary, IN was there being recognized for winning the ISHAA state championship in basketball. When we walked past them one of the players laughed and said, “I wonder what they are here for? They must be a baseball team.” They were much taller and undoubtedly better (one of their players Glen “Big Dog” Robinson went on to play in the NBA).
The comment they made has become a mirror in my life causing me to see when arrogance rears its ugly face in my life. I wish I could say I removed this face from my life but my flesh is strong. I can say that I realize that arrogance will keep me from being favored by God and I am striving to live in humility.
Ugly Face #3
I am and have been a procrastinator for most of my life; I love flying by the seat of my pants. Being honest with you it has worked pretty well.
It was just a few months ago that God spoke into my life concerning this. Listen to what He spoke to my soul–“Jason, if you continue flying by the seat of your pants your will never soar to the places I have prepared for you!”
This word cut deep into my soul; I knew it was the truth. At that moment I saw the ugly face of procrastination. For some many years I embraced it as a strength, however God revealed it to me as a weakness. Once again I would love to say that I no longer procrastinate but I cannot, however I can say I am learning the power of advanced scheduling.
Applying the Beauty Mask, a 3 stepped process
Step #1 Apply Humility
We must come to the knowledge that we do not know it all, we do not have all the answers, and we cannot do everything perfectly. This does not mean we are incapable in simply means that we are not perfect. If we wish to reveal beauty to all that see us we must apply humility.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time:”
1 Peter 5:6
Step #2 Wash with Understanding
If I am not perfect, I cannot expect others to be perfect. This is a point of understanding we all must focus upon. To think better of myself leads to arrogance; to think properly of myself leads to understanding. When I understand myself I can understand others, this leads to a real portrait of beauty.
“[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
Step #3 Perfume with Grace
It has been said that pride is a prison and grace is a key. Being covered in the grace of God is the most wonderful expression of beauty. The covering of grace reveals that we know our selves, that we know God, and that we have called to Him for help.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9