Roses are iconic. They are timeless and both beautiful and classy. But roses, although beautiful, have many thorns. Don't we, as sinful human beings, also have thorns? Let's learn 3 lessons from a rose.
"Beauty without virtue is like a rose without scent." - Swedish Proverb
It is not only the beautiful appearance of the rose that we love but also the beautiful aroma. The same goes for us, it is not just our appearance that makes us beautiful, but more importantly, it is our aroma (our attitude, mind, heart, and soul). Virtue is a word that is not used much anymore, and sadly not demonstrated enough. It is moral behavior, righteousness, integrity, and honor. We become more beautiful outwardly if our inside is also beautiful. Remember the Bible mentions a few times that what is on the inside does affect the outside and will come out. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23). Are we radiating beauty to the world and being virtuous as Christ has called us to be?
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. - 2 Peter 1:2-8
Roses are a balance between beauty and pain. They overcome harsh weather conditions, and its own thorns by producing intricate, delicate, and colorful flowers. They are a reminder to us that even in this cursed world, there is still beauty, God-given beauty, for us to be grateful for and use to glorify God. Ever since sin entered into this world, life is a battle of right and wrong, righteousness and sin. We battle daily between what our sinful nature/flesh desires and what our spirit desires. If we are saved, then we desire to do God's Will and the Holy Spirit lives in us, guiding us the correct way. But, we are still imperfect and sinful human beings while living in this world, therefore we have to consciously choose to obey God daily rather than give in to temptation. We live in this world but are commanded not to be a part of it or let the world live in us. We are to be set apart; we are foreigners in this world. The world and everything in it is corrupt and wasting away; it is filled with disease and sin. But, if we are saved, then our soul and spirit are being renewed daily. Jesus tells us to be steadfast, bold, and have joy knowing that we are overcomers through Him who saved us from our transgressions and freed us. We are survivors!
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. - 1 John 4:4
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. - 1 John 2:15-17
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. - Philippians 3:20-21
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. - Ephesians 6:12
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. - 1 Peter 2:11-12
Roses bring joy and happiness to others and are given as a sign of love. Roses come in many different colors, sizes, and styles. Some are small and grow on a bush, others are large and grow on a vine. No matter what form, a rose is still the symbol of love and brightens up a garden. Humans are the same, we all come in different colors, shapes, sizes, and grow differently. We are unique in that no human is alike, not one. No matter what we face in life, our upbringing, being bullied, being excluded, having our heartbroken, dealing with hurt and hateful people, abuse, dealing with depression, or illnesses, we have the ability, through Jesus Christ, to grow beautifully and blossom into bright, joyful human beings. We have the option to be content in all situations and circumstances and keep our focus on the important things. We can be filled with love through God, and pour that love out to others.
Choose today to be beautiful, an overcomer, and a blessing. Beautiful comes from the inside and pours out onto the outside, producing a radiance that only comes from God. Overcoming comes from depending on Jesus and developing a strong, close relationship with Him. Being a blessing is a choice to stand up and obey God, not let the troubles of this world cover you, causing bitterness and darkness. What are areas you need to work on and how can you implement these three points in your daily life?