Thursday, August 16, 2007

What's Inside?

Last year I was invited to emcee a fall women’s conference. I was thrilled to do so. In preparation for this conference, a friend of mine from out of town invited me to go with her to get a manicure. I thought that was a great idea as I hadn’t had a professional one since I got pregnant with my youngest son nine years before. I used to always wear acrylics and I loved having them on my fingers.

Instead of just having a manicure, I decide to put on the acrylics—the French style with the pink and white. I thought that would look better on me since I don’t wear polish on my nails. I got them on and thought my hands looked years younger. I got all the compliments which I thoroughly enjoyed. I felt better holding a microphone with pretty fingers at the conference.

After the conference, I decided I would keep the acrylics on my nails. My nails were brittle and weak. I didn’t like the look of my fingernails and this was the solution to ugly fingernails. I went faithfully every two weeks for my fills. Each time the nail technician drilled away at my nail bed for the acrylic to adhere. I was making such a sacrifice for beauty.

By the spring I felt discomfort on my nails, but disregarded. Once the nail tech completely removed one nail and replaced as fungus was starting. Then another two nails started changing colors, but instead of removing the acrylics and replacing them, she just glued them really well. The fingernails kept turning a darker brown. I did not want fungus on my fingers. I was in a dilemma as I was part of a dance team and we were invited to dance at a church in another community. If I removed the nails, my fingernails would be ugly for the dance. My nail tech was out of town and no one else would work on my fingers. In the midst of all this my husband asked me if there was anyway we could save $100 a month for a ski vacation. I just blurt out, “Sure if I get these nails removed.” That was what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me to do, but I would not listen. Finally I contacted a nail tech that agreed to remove the acrylics. I was more afraid of the fungus setting in on my fingernails than having ugly fingers with the dance team.

After the acrylics were removed, my finger nails were so thin and ugly. There was hardly any nail left on my fingers. I realized then that I needed them removed anyway as they would not support the acrylics much longer. My nails were totally damaged and a couple of them were painful to touch.

The Lord was trying to speak to me through my vanity. He saw what was going on underneath the acrylics. He knew my nails were damaged and ugly. In order for my nails to heal, I had to remove the acrylics and let my nails breathe. It took a good four months for my nails to become strong and healthy again.

God knows what goes on underneath our cover. We can dress nice and look good on the outside, but the Lord knows what is on the inside. 1 Samuel 16:7b says, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." The Lord knows our motives. 1 Chronicles 28:9 reads, “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

Let us pray as David did in Psalm 51:10-12

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

The Lord knows what is in our hearts, so let’s get our hearts right before the Lord. We can look good from the inside out!

Blessings in Christ!

6 gracious comments:

Darla said...

looking good on the inside...I think about this verse often..Create in me..Do you ever wonder what it is HE sees when HE looks at us...Beauty on the inside is what i want when HE looks at me.

Love your blog, and this one really hit home for me, struggling lately, and probably pride getting in the way...don't you hate when that happens. :) Princess to Princess

Tam said...

Hi Shonda. Ya know it's funny, you said you didn't know how you stumbled onto my blog, then when I came to your blog I realized I had been here before and couldn't figure out when or how!

Glad you stopped by! Glad you did...Great Post! I agree with Darla...pride! This side of Heaven will always present its challenges...

Happy "late" 19th!!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post!!! Thanks for sharing that. It is good to be reminded that God knows what we're thinking and He knows our motives. He also knows our hearts.

jen said...

LOL, okay, maybe I should have read this before doing my hair yesterday...

Feels like the Holy Spirit is looking at me and saying, "Uh-Huh, read on girl". :) Thanks for posting this. :)

Leah said...


What a great analogy!! I'm sorry you had to go through that, though. Acrylics in and of themselves are not bad, just like any other thing we do to enhance our beauty. The problem comes when we rely on that, depend on that, glory in that thing. Just like Darla said, it is all about pride and God HATES pride.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.


Leigh Gray said...

great word, girl!! thank you!!

I am living in the land of comestic surgery - while i have always been opposed to it, it sure is tempting since everyone else is doing it. Isn't it crazy what becomes tempting when it becomes the norm around you...

have a great day!