As believers in Christ, our highest aim, goal, value and joy is: Christ, and Him glorified.
Our culture esteems beauty and sex appeal as one of the highest values. We may say that all people are valuable, or that being smart or kind is more important (and maybe we actually kind of believe that), but most of our actions point to physical appearance as one of our very highest values. (What do we spend our money on? What really bothers us? Who do we idolize? All these things point to our obsession with worldly beauty.)
And, even as a Christian, my flesh + the devil + the pull of our culture is on display in my life when I spend precious minutes and even hours in despair over my own insecurities and failures. My heart proves to me that I have a competing value: my self.
My heart is heavy when I see and hear my sisters in Christ struggling with heavy hearts and thoughts of despair because of 5 extra pounds around their middle that, in their mind, defines them. I know how it can feel like life isn’t worth living if you don’t feel beautiful. I know how debilitating that can be – and how guilt for caring about such a ‘surface’ issue heaps up on top of already heavy and bitter emotions and threatens to steal all joy away.
I also know the joy that comes with self-forgetfulness.
Mostly, we all want to live happy, fulfilled lives. We tend to believe, deep down, that to be happy we have to feel beautiful, and we really want to be worshipped by a lover who finds us attractive, and celebrated by others too. Don’t we sometimes believe that if we could have our ideal face, body, personality – then we would have true, rich happiness?
We have an adversary who seeks to destroy us. If he can divert your attention off the Son of God and onto yourself – either to glory OR despair in yourself – he is delighted to be rendering you ineffective as a soldier for the Lord, and he is delighted to be stealing away your joy in Christ. If we want to live a joyful, fulfilled life we must exalt Jesus in our hearts.
Jesus said that where our treasure is, there is our heart. If our treasure is our bodies, a sweet haircut, a sassy pout or a thigh-gap, our treasure is in great danger of “moth and rust destroying, thieves breaking in to steal,” (Matthew 6) – or it’s all prone to fickle changing fashions, slowing metabolism, an acne breakout, etc. Basically, it’s downhill from here.
But. If our treasure is Jesus.
If our treasure is Jesus! If He is our highest value, our greatest joy, our life’s true passion, then our treasure is Him. Our hope is secure. If our heart truly desires Christ, it is protected from being devastated by our own physical imperfections or personal failures, and it is set on the only truly satisfying, fitting treasure: Christ alone.
In light of JESUS as highest value, how then do we consider our physical bodies, or our personal accomplishments be it in the realm of home, school, weight loss or any other thing?
We should never allow our perception of our beauty or lack thereof to control us. There is no room for despair if Jesus is our highest value, and there is no room for pride, because “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4). Anything good in us has been given to us for the glory of God.
Sisters, let us day by day knock physical beauty off the throne.
Only Jesus has the right to reign in our lives.
May Jesus be your treasure today and always.
And here’s the beautiful thing – as we fix our eyes on Him, glorifying Him and celebrating Him, we are becoming more and more like Him.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16)
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another…” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)