The story of Esther fascinates me. It might actually be my favourite. To make a long story short, Esther was an orphan girl who was taken from her family to become a part of the king’s harem, but the story doesn’t end there. While the king was only looking for a beautiful new gal pal, God had more in mind; He would use this beautiful girl to save His people!
Esther was subjected to the same societal pressures women face today. Like us, Esther had to deal with unnecessary scrutiny and criticism. The fact that she had to undergo a year of beauty treatments before she could even appear before the king, clearly shows just how superficial society was (and still is).
After winning the beauty contest and captivating the king with her outward appearance, she could have easily let pride get the best of her. Like so many others, she could have given herself over to an immoral and selfish lifestyle. She could have easily used her perks and privileges as Queen for her own gain. But instead, she laid aside all of these things to set herself apart and pursue God’s plan. Esther looked beyond herself and allowed God to use her beauty, position and influence to accomplish something great for His (and her) people.
Esther had so much more to offer than her appearance. Her beauty was not in the garments she wore, nor in the oil that she slathered on her skin. Amongst many other things, Esther had tact, nobility, poise and courageous trust. This chick had substance. Had she focused only on her outer appearance, then I doubt that we would even know her today. What made Esther truly beautiful was not what could be seen, but everything that could not be seen.
In an age where we are constantly spending our money on expensive clothes, wasting our time trying to choose the right filter, determining our value by the number of likes we get, skipping our meals just to feel skinny, and falling prey to conventional beauty standards, this story is a great (and very challenging) reminder that God wants us to pursue something greater than superficial and short-lived outer beauty.
Which king are you serving?
The one who says you need to do this and fix that to look beautiful, or the one who says you are fearfully and wonderfully made?
Who are you trying to please?
Where does your value lie?
We serve a God who looks at the heart. God isn’t looking for perfection, only faithfulness. Unlike the king in the story, God does not expect us to change ourselves before we go to Him. God is waiting for us to go to Him so He can change us. He is looking for vessels; chipped, marred and broken. He is waiting to repair, restore and refine. He is waiting to make us beautiful from the inside out.
With all of the images and messages that are out there today, it is incredibly easy to believe the lie that we are not good enough, pretty enough, perfect enough. Don’t fall for it. Real beauty isn’t in the things you adorn yourself with, real beauty stems from the posture of your heart. Find out where true beauty lies, and cling to it every day. You are more than just a face or a body. I wish I could tell my 12-year-old self that over and over and over again.
You are more than just pretty.