Being Beautiful to God Even When Ill

beautifulIllness can easily make us feel far from beautiful. S.L. shares how vital a godly perspective is.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

I had a moment of panic earlier this week when I realized that my hair started seriously falling out. Thanks to immune system issues this has happened before, but this time it I felt God nudging me.

Our culture is obsessed with beauty and much of our valuation is based on externals. It is something I’ve never felt I could really measure up to since chronic illness’s consequences wreak havoc on our looks and ability to do things. Hence, when one of my last physical attributes that I was proud of started to go, I used to feel incredibly down.

But that is our culture and not what God says about us. What makes us beautiful and valuable isn’t even the things we do. It’s a gentle and quiet spirit.

One of my biggest heroes is Corrie Ten Boom. I first read her story when I was little; I was encouraged by her faith as she was sent to a concentration camp for hiding Jews in World War II. She was an absolutely beautiful person–not because of how she looked or what she did–but because of her spirit. Her love for and trust in God shone through even in the darkest of circumstances.

Obviously, losing my hair is not the darkest of circumstances. Chronic illness isn’t fun, but the pain gives us a head start to refine our spirits if we choose to focus on God through it. Like Corrie, that is what will make us truly beautiful.

This is what made my hair issues different this time. We should desire to be beautiful in His eyes rather than in the worlds since that is where our value really is. No matter what our physical issues, we should be encouraged because we can be beautiful to God.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for being there for us in every circumstance and that You are big enough to handle them all. Thank You for Your sustaining grace no matter what is going on with us. Please help us focus on You and help refine our spirits so we can be beautiful in Your eyes. Please help us let go of the world’s ideas of beauty and stop measuring ourselves against a standard that doesn’t matter. Amen.

About the author:
S.L. Payne lives in North Carolina with her husband, three biological sons and foster daughter. She has had fibromyalgia since she was a little girl, but it thankful for God’s faithfulness. She loves writing, photography and laughing with her family. Her blog is The Proverbs 31 Project at where she hopes she can encourage others.

Are you using God’s standard or the world’s as a lens to view yourself? How can you refocus yourself if you are judging yourself based on a worldly standard?

This is a song with so many lyrics I think you will relate to. Christa Wells sings “More Than I Am” and it refers to God making us complete–not our appearance. You can see the lyrics here if you are interested She shares in this song how we don’t feel inspired or amazing, and yet God sees us before we are born. He loves us just as much now as He did then. I hope this song brings you some comfort. -Lisa