What I’m about to say may sound crazy. It goes against everything society tells us, as women, have to be. The media tells us we have to be beautiful, thin, or flawless. Magazines airbrush already gorgeous supermodels into oblivion to create this facade of how “women” ought to look. Kate Moss’ infamous quote, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” is plastered on the backs of 12 year old’s iPhone cases. This is wrong. Here is my argument:
Appearances are not everything.
Lately I’ve been thinking about this significantly. It’s probably because I heard a second grader say that she was fat. That’s heartbreaking. And that exhumes a massive flaw in our culture that needs to be set right by scripture and God’s Truth.
The other day I read 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
That verse got me to thinking. God describes our bodies as “jars of clay” and the gifting of the gospel to us as “treasure.” The gift of the gospel and God’s word has far more worth and weight than our outward appearance. Cultivating godly characteristics through the Word of God like a servant’s heart, humility, generosity, compassion, and thoughtfulness hold more weight than a perfect exterior. Focusing on imitating Christ through our love for Him and for others is when we find contentment. No amount of physical perfection can ever eclipse that intimacy with our creator.
Don’t get me wrong, I like makeup. Apart from having a level 65 mage on World of Warcraft and spending most of my childhood Saturdays at Pokemon trading conferences (yeah, it was a thing), I am probably the girliest girl you will ever meet. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with wanting to be beautiful or wear make-up. I think that’s natural. But there is a balance to be struck. I’ve made this rule for myself: the amount of time I spend getting ready in the morning is the amount of time I spend that day with the Lord. If I spend 30 minutes putting on makeup or doing my hair, I spend that time or more with the Lord. It is crucial to keep perspective. Keep your eyes focused upward and outward: focused on God and focused on others. Philippians 2:3 commands, “in humility value others above yourselves.” Talk about a reality check. It’s our jobs as Christians to be focused on others, not worrying about our appearance all the time.
Furthermore, God commands us to be focused on things that are eternal rather than temporary. 2 Corinthians 4:18 commands, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Set your eyes on the things of God. Looks will inevitably fade. But a beautiful soul and a servant’s heart is something that God values immensely. Character is more valuable than a beautiful face, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). Verse 30 sums it up perfectly, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Not focusing on your outer appearance is empowering. Focusing on serving others and living your life sacrificially as Christ empowers your soul. It strengthens you because Christ is working through you. His strength becomes yours.
Live your life by walking intimately with the Lord. Make time for Him in your busy schedule. Instead of worrying about what the scale says or how you look, take that time to examine your heart. See how you are walking with the Lord. Critically ask yourself how you have been striving to lead others to your creator. I encourage you to focus your attention on the things of God rather than things that are temporary and fleeting. Remember, God’s focus is on our hearts, where lasting beauty resides.