I enjoyed crafting magnets with encouraging sayings to give as game prizes at my weight-loss club. But the ones that said “Hello, Beautiful!” sat on the eight-foot table like unadopted pound puppies. What is wrong with these people, Lord? I muttered. Why don’t they like themselves?

But when I looked at my own fridge, I noticed the lack of a “Hello, Beautiful!” magnet. I couldn’t take a dose of my own encouragement. Perhaps we’re afraid to come across as arrogant. Or perhaps it’s because our society equates beauty with outward appearance only.

Even though God made us in his image (Genesis 1:26), we’ve believed the lie that unless our bodies are perfect, we’re less than attractive or valuable. We’re quick to tell our friends how great they look or how special they make us feel. But we can’t say it to ourselves.

I decided to help those around me—and myself—get a glimpse of the beauty God put inside us. I started handing out genuine compliments right and left. I told the cashier at a restaurant I appreciated her cheerful attitude. I thanked the nurse at my mom’s assisted-living facility for her dedication. I wrote a note of gratitude to my easygoing co-worker. I made a habit to look for ways to say, “You are beautiful—I see God in you.”

Every time I shone a light on someone’s inner loveliness, I felt better about myself. Helping my neighbors see their value made me more aware of how God sees me: one of “his chosen people” (I Peter 2:9 ERV). I even made another magnet that said “Hello, Beautiful!” and put it on my own fridge.

(Adapted from Hello, Beautiful: Finally Love Yourself Just as You Are)

Jeanette Levellie, a spunky redheaded pastor’s wife, is the author of five books and hundreds of published articles. She is the wife of one, mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress of two (cats). Find her mirthful musings at www.jeanettelevellie.com.

 

 

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