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April 5, 2016

Beauty Begins: Beauty in Action

by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG)

Kindness is beauty in action.  You’ve heard the axiom: “Actions speak louder than words,” but the truth is much more harsh. Most actions either completely silence or dramatically magnify what we say.  Everything in Scripture points to the fact that our actions matter.  A lot! Not because we’re trying to earn our way to heaven or gain brownie points with God, but because our actions indicate if Christ is truly living inside us. C.S. Lewis said it well:

If you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way … Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.

The most important lessons in life are caught, not taught.  Our kids follow in the footsteps we thought we’d covered up.  Mothers who make negative comments about their looks inadvertently teach their daughters to turn that critical mirror on themselves.  If you want to be beautiful, then put on this garment of kindness.  True beauty shows up in our acts of kindness and the more acts of kindness, the more beautiful we’ll be.  It’s not enough to have kind thoughts.  A great thought means nothing without actions.  We’re called to beautiful actions.  To risk rejection. To risk looking foolish. To bare our hearts and risk their breaking.

As you put on this piece of kindness today, ask God what specific acts you could do that would reflect His beauty to others.  Think about those in front of you, your family and the people you meet at Starbucks or work.  Be specific and intentional.  Then take the risk and do it!

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