So going a bit away from fun things I have been doing with Sam, this morning I was reading the book of Esther in my new Message version of the bible (I wanted to try and force myself to read the passages in a different way, instead of just reading the phrases and wording that had become so familiar to me in the NIV). And this sentence jumped out at me:
"Esther, just as she was, won the admiration of everyone who saw her"
If you know a little about the story of Esther you will know that "simply put" she had been entered into a beauty competition for the then reigning King who had become annoyed with his existing Queen. The prize was to become the Queen, with all its perks and privileges, and many young women coveted it. Esther was eventually chosen to be Queen after her visit to the king made him fall in love with her. Each girl was able to take whatever they wanted with her to try to seduce him. Esther chose to take nothing extra in. She was good enough as she was.
Now don't hear me wrong here - I am not saying that we shouldn't take pride in our appearance or anything like that. Esther had in fact undergone 12 months of beauty treatment!! But so had all the other girls who went in to the king. What was different about Esther was her faith in God and her relationship with Him. That shined through all of the beauty treatments, and set her apart from everyone else.
You see, when you have a real and living relationship with God, you have a magnetic beauty that others can't fail to notice. You win the admiration of everyone just by being you. That is all. You don't have to try extra, you are good as you are when you are in God.