Sermons

Summary: What is true beauty? Who has it? How do you get it? Everyone was designed by God to be extraordinarily beautiful. Student ministry powerpoint format.

This material was originally presented to a high school audience in PowerPoint format. If you have questions or would like a copy of the original PowerPoint files, drop me an email at robert.fox@alltel.com

[Relationships – Beauty]

Slide Graphic – drawing of beautiful woman – Leonardo Da Vinci

Slide Text –

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self… (1 Peter 3:3-4a)

Today, we’re talking about beauty. What is it? How do you know if you have it? How do you get it? This is really about your self image – how happy you are with what you see when you look in the mirror?

Traditionally, people talk about girls struggling with this, and I think it’s fair to say that women spend a lot more time worrying about their appearance. But I think it’s also fair to say that every guy struggles with this also. Maybe guys don’t stand in front of the mirror asking themselves if they are beautiful. [audio clip – chorus to “You’re Beautiful”, by James Blunt] Maybe they don’t worry so much if those jeans make their butts look too big. But guys struggle with their self image, too.

Both guys and girls are told by society what standards they are expected to live up to. Magazines full of pictures of tall, thin models. Actors with six-pack abs and cleft chins. Who can live up to that? Do those actors and models really even live up to that?

Who decided that this is what is beautiful? Who decided that was the standard by which every person on the planet is judged? “Society”? Have you seen the latest crowd of celebrities? Society is not a good judge of appearances. Did you know that Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest – and came in third.

[Depressed about her appearance]

Slide video – “Depressed about her looks” clip from www.bluefishtv.com - I downloaded it for $1.99, and it is perfect for this discussion. Very powerful.

Slide graphics – graphitti “I’m Worthless”

Slide text – You are altogether beautiful, MY darling, and there is no blemish in you (Song of Solomon 4:7)

Listen to what this young girl is saying:

“I look in the mirror and I see a fat ugly blob, without form or anything”

“They all have these different definitions of ‘pretty’, and I can’t ever fit all of those categories”

Is she fat” Is she ugly? No! But do you know people who feel this way? Do you sometimes feel this way?

She seems to despair that she can’t fit all of the different definitions of “pretty”. Whose definitions? Doesn’t this sound as if she is waiting for other people to tell her whether or not she is worthy to be called “Beautiful”? She is allowing society to judge her. And she admits that society has so many different definitions that she can’t possibly live up to them. She is stressed out and depressed.

When she looks in the mirror, she sees a formless blob, without shape. Why can’t she see herself? Because she has no internal self-image – no convictions of her own about whether or not she is pretty. She doesn’t know who she is and is waiting on society to tell her. Without someone to tell her who she is, she is a formless, shapeless blob.

She blames God because he doesn’t make her live up to societies standards. She’s even thought about suicide, because she doesn’t know who she is. She is missing a rather large point. The standard she is measuring herself against is the one society has made – not the standard that God uses. God is not in the business of making you conform to this world. God has a different standard for you.

God already made you beautiful. God doesn’t make factory seconds. We seem to have the impression that God made a handful of beautiful people, then made the rest of us as “filler”. You are a unique creation of God, and he made you beautifully.

I don’t know this young lady. Maybe God made her a natural athlete, and artist or a writer. Maybe she can sing like an angel, or maybe she has a heart capable of making people feel welcome and encouraged. But however God made her, she’s missing out on it by ignoring the way she was created and attempting to conform to a worldly standard of beauty.

Many of you can sympathize with her. Think about this: wouldn’t she be much more attractive if she just didn’t worry about all that. If she was happy and confident – unstressed? I mean, if the outside appearance was not changed at all, but her heart was changed instead? Of course. In worrying about whether she measures up to the worldly standard of beauty, she has ignored her heart, and has, in fact, made herself somewhat unattractive. She doesn’t seem like a fun person to hang with at the moment.

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