Recently, I received a package from One Loved Babe that read “Pretty Things Inside.” At first, I nodded in approval at the clever marketing.
But my very next thought was, “I sure hope that can be said about me.”
Believe me, I care about my outward appearance.
I’m pretty self-conscious of my fluctuations in weight over the last year. I still attempt to hide the uninvited gray hairs that try to steal the show. As much as any girl, I look forward to wearing fun outfits.
On a similar note, I want my home to be presentable, too. I want my guests to feel welcome, their eyes aesthetically pleased by its personality.
Tell me, though, what good is a well-decorated home if the attic is overrun by rats, or the walls hold traces of toxic mold, or the foundation is unstable, or, possibly worse yet, the inhabitants therein are contempt with each other?
No doubt, we all want to be pretty (or handsome). And while the definition of pretty likely is different for all of us, we all like pretty things.
But I wonder…have we been sucked into the movement of materialism?
Do we spend more time and income keeping our skin flawless, all strands of hair in place, and every clothing article trendy, instead of developing our inner beauty and character?
Do we focus on personal progress–how our thoughts affect our attitudes and our attitudes affect our atmospheres?
How much of our time last week was devoted to meditation, prayer, or weeding out ugly assumptions about other people?
I mean, do people really know our hearts?
Do they see and feel kindness and love and joy when they converse with us? Do they know our best intentions, or do they only see our plastered and posed outer shells?
Alright, I’ll stop the interrogations.
But in my opinion, hair that’s wild and loose from windows rolled down while happily singing is better than a polished updo that’s as stiff as a practically plastic complexion.
I’d rather have wrinkles at my eyes from smiling and hands scarred and calloused from serving; I’d rather get dirty while helping someone else out of their muck than to remain clean and never know what it felt like to step outside of my comfort box.
At the end of everything, as long as my Creator likes what He sees when He peers at what’s inside my soul, that’s enough for me. All I need to do is read Galatians 5:22-23 to know what He’s searching for, exactly.
After all, character is the only thing we take with us.
But you don’t need to be a Christian to know what a good person looks like.
More than anyone else, you know what your heart and mind hide away. Maybe you don’t always like what you see there. Maybe that’s why you opt for masks and filters and popular opinions.
I get it.
Sharing our personal thoughts is downright uncomfortable. But it’s also a surefire way to build real connections and grow as a person.
While focusing on followers makes sense for business networking, it doesn’t quite fit the criteria for friendships. Influencer programs and algorithms aside, quality trumps quantity every day.
Ask yourself: would you rather be admired or accepted? Envied or loved?
If someone asks a friend about you, do you want them simply to say you’re pretty, or pretty wonderful?