Pretty or beautiful? Many people do get the two confused!
As a big girl from about five years old and upward, my whole life has been full of the phrase, “Such a pretty face, if only…” Now looking back I know most of those were well meaning. For a young girl, however, the “if only” were the words that stood out in big, glaring, bold letters and overshadowed the pretty part. As a result I fussed and primped with my hair and face hoping that would be acceptable enough to get people to look past the “if only”. However…as the granddaughter of two preachers, the importance of a life of faith was embedded into me as well. At times it felt like God was the only one who loved me just as I was. He saw ME…deep inside and knew the real me. I was always told I didn’t have to perform to gain his acceptance. As my walk with Him grew, I can only hope there was true beautiful found within me. Beauty as described in the devotion, “Pretty vs. Beautiful” from, “Beauty Begins: Making Peace with Your Reflection”, by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha:
“Pretty vs. Beautiful
On a daily basis we interchange the words pretty and beautiful. “You look so pretty in that dress!” “Your hair is so beautiful today!” Our culture has confused the meanings of the words beautiful and pretty. Though they seem the same, when we get down to it there is a real difference between pretty and beautiful. Pretty describes things that are temporary, constantly changing, never going to last.
For example, our wardrobe is pretty. We are always buying new clothes because they go in and out of style. A shirt is cute one day, and ugly the next. One day jean skirts are in, the next day they are out. Beauty, on the other hand, is constant, never changes, and eternal. Beauty lasts forever.
Our outer appearance is constantly and continually changing. We will all get wrinkles, grey hair, and saggy skin. That’s life! So then why do we waste so much time and effort trying to make ourselves look good every morning? You need to look at the heart behind it. It’s not bad to put makeup on and dress up every day; your job might even require it. But if you are changing your outer appearance to please others, get attention, or non-verbally asking for confirmation that you look good or you are liked, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons.
Think about the most beautiful person you know. What makes them so beautiful? Is it their long skinny legs, luscious hair, and dark skin? Or is it their patience, how kind they are to others, how they are constantly joyful and always make you laugh? The most beautiful people I can think of are pretty on the outside but what draws me to them is their beauty on the inside. I long to be that kind of person. Do you?
Would you rather be friends with someone extremely pretty, but they put others down, make you feel bad about yourself, and are completely selfish? Or would you rather be friends with someone who is just normal looking, but they encourage you, make you laugh, and always ask how you are? So we need to be like those people that we believe are the most beautiful. People don’t want to be friends with someone pretty, they want to be friends with someone beautiful.
Think about it: How will you be beautiful today?
Verses for further reflection: 1 Peter 3:3-4 Song of Solomon 4:7 Proverbs 31:25-26″