“Beautiful” in the english dictionary is described as “delighting the senses or exciting intellectual or emotional admiration; of a very high standard; excellent; highly enjoyable.”
The word beautiful is believed to originated as a classical Greek noun from the base word kallos or kalos – which also translates as “good” or “of fine quality” which lends to a broader meaning than mere physical or material beauty. Wikipedia also states that “The Koine Greek word for beautiful was ὡραῖος, hōraios, an adjective etymologically coming from the word ὥρα, hōra, meaning “hour”. In Koine Greek, beauty was thus associated with “being of one’s hour”. Thus, a ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas a young woman trying to appear older or an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful. In Attic Greek, hōraios had many meanings, including “youthful” and “ripe old age”.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty)
What do you think when you hear the word beautiful?
Most of us instantly think about appearance and outward looks when we are presented with this word. Not all of us are model looking with the perfect shaped body that screams blemish-free skin, straight teeth and flouncy hair or long legs, perfect boobs, skinny waistline, just-the-right-sized butt and no excess fat rolls. In fact, I’m pretty sure that most of us will immediately be able to mention at least one physical feature that we are unhappy with on our own bodies. I’m definitely not here professing that you should all to go out and sign up for the next “Top Model”. Far from it. Honestly, that is the last thing I’m talking about.
‘Cos, I don’t know about you but I don’t feel “beautiful” when I struggle to get out of the bed in the morning, dreading having to face the new day. Wearing racoon eyes from the makeup that I forgot to wash off last night and dishevelled hair that I haven’t brushed since yesterday morning. When I haven’t had a shower for days or a nice relaxing soak in the bath for so long that I can’t remember. I don’t feel particularly “beautiful” when I’ve just finished my work-out at the gym, dripping with sweat and smelling like last weeks garbage. When I’m in the middle of feeding my children, changing a nappy and wiping up spew. I don’t feel “beautiful” when I’ve had to yell at the children or had a fight with my husband. When I have to go the doctors for another test or the supermarket for that vital ingredient that I always seem to run out of at the most unfortunate moment (like MILK – does anyone else hear me?). When I’m sitting for that exam that i just know I’m going to fail or sitting in traffic waiting for the accident ahead to clear. In fact, most of the time, I really don’t FEEL beautiful at all.
Some of us may be blessed with wonderful encouraging people in our word that tell us that we are beautiful. Maybe you believe it, but maybe you just shrug it off and discard their genuineness as just a passing comment or they said it because they wanted something from you in return. Maybe that cliché saying rings true here – Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. But, I don’t think so. I think that there is a beauty inside every single human being. I think that when someone tells us that we are beautiful, we need to listen and accept it. You see, they might just have glimpsed the inside of you. The beautiful heart, the beautiful mind and the beautiful soul that resides in you.
You see, inside each one of us there is an inherent beauty. It’s who you are behind closed doors, in the deep recesses of your heart and mind, in your quietest days and in your hardest days. You are beautiful! It’s the kind of beauty that stands even when you are covered in baby poop, spew or dribble. When you are smelly and sweaty and not behaving all that nicely. You are beautiful when you are full of shame, pain and hurt and feel every bit like a dirty, rotten sinner. It doesn’t matter what you have done, or how you look. You are beautiful because you were created by the Creator. God is the Author of Life (refer Revelations 4:11; Colossians 1:16-17) and He has created you beautiful. Genesis chapter 1, at the very start of the Bible, tells us that God created us. He made us in His image, in His likeness. Verse 31 says “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good“.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV) tells us “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Psalm 139:14 (NIV) says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
The word “beautiful” is mentioned around 34 times in the Bible. That tells me that it’s not an insignificant word. Song of Songs is full of scripture that mentions the word beautiful. One of my favourites is the verse that reminds us of The Great Commission. Romans 10:15(b) (NIV) references Isaiah 52:7 (NIV) – it says “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”. I want to be one of those who is called beautiful. What about you? Do you want to be a bringer of good news?
If you know me personally, you will know that every time I write, text, send encouragement of any kind to any of my friends, I always start the communication with “Hello Beautiful ___(and write their name here)__, and then carry on with the message. I’m very intentional with this. I do it because I genuinely think that they are beautiful (inside and out) and I want to let them know that I value them. I want them to know that I think they are worth my attention and communication. That I enjoy communicating with them. That they are of a high standard and that they are excellent (refer back to the top paragraph where we define what beautiful means). I want to encourage them. I want them to believe that they are beautiful and I want to be someone who tells them that.
I challenge you to firstly believe and accept that you are beautiful in every way – inside and out and secondly, to tell everyone around you that they are beautiful too. Imagine if you too started all your text messages with those two words of encouragement (“Hello beautiful”). It might just be the thing that your friend needs to hear right now. It’s just like putting a smile on your face when you see a stranger in the grocery store. Calling someone beautiful (and believing it too) might just be the start of a change for the better in this hurting world. Will you do it? Will you tell someone today – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!?!?