Beautiful in God’s Eyes Day 1: Lies from the Media
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5, ESV)
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:2-5)
It seems like the headlines these days are all about appearances. The news is dominated by who wore it best, cosmetic surgery, and awards for beauty. We’ve gotten used to the constant barrage of beauty advice, standards, and expectations. Everything is a competition. We have to have the nicest hair, thinnest waist, prettiest makeup, and cutest clothes. That’s what is supposed to be the most important to us according to the world. TV shows, movies, advertisements, and articles are all targeted toward appearances, especially our insecurities about our own.
Lie number one: Appearance is everything. We are taught from a young age that appearance is important. If you don’t look clean and well put together, you won’t make friends or gain respect. If your hair doesn’t lie just right and your clothes aren’t fashionable enough, then you won’t be desirable for jobs or relationships. While taking care of your appearance is important, it is not everything. Your appearance does not define you. You will make friends, gain respect, get jobs, and foster relationships purely based on your character and talent.
Lie number two: Everyone is looking at/noticing your flaws. This is the thought that generates the most social anxiety for me. I am constantly aware of how I look to those around me. Am I sitting right? Is there something in my teeth? Was I making an angry face? Are they staring at my zit? Although I can’t stop myself from having these thoughts, I know they aren’t true. People rarely notice the flaws we see in ourselves. We see these perceived flaws because we’ve become fixated on them. We hold ourselves to the world’s standards of beauty, and any part of ourselves that doesn’t meet them becomes a glaring imperfection. In reality, it’s mostly exaggerated in our own head. We all have our own insecurities, so what you might find flawed may be what someone admires about you. Remember, none of us are perfect, and that’s okay.
Lie number three: You are not worthy if you don’t meet society’s beauty standards. Read that sentence again and tell me you don’t feel a little silly thinking this could be true. It can be hard to believe at times, but our worth is not dictated by the world. Our worth is spelled out in the pages of God’s Word, and He tells us that we are loved, worthy, beautiful and desired. How can we hate something that He deems worthy of love? How can we despise a body that He formed with His own hands? Think of Christ: the Bible tells us that He was not beautiful by the world’s standards, yet we are drawn to Him. We admire Him for His love, kindness, grace, mercy, and compassion. The world and Satan want us to hate ourselves. That may sound like strong language, but it’s true. It’s easier to keep us from spreading the love of God when we hate ourselves. So, hold your head high. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are worthy.
My challenge to you today is that you take a good, hard look in the mirror. Find the things you admire and find the things you wish you could change. Remind yourself that the world does not get to tell you how to look because God has already made you beautiful. Think of Christ and remember that a person who is overflowing with love, kindness, mercy, grace, and compassion has the mark of true beauty.