Do you ever at times wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror and think to yourself, what if the feature would turn out to be bigger or smaller or a little bigger? What if I weighed a little less or more, or wish that you were shorter or taller, etc.? Well, keep calm and join the millions of us.
In Genesis 1:27, 31 we read:
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them… and God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
Reading this scripture struck me. “…in his image he created them”. There can never be a more grandeur beauty achievable by a human being than that, a resemblance to God the majestic, glorious one in his infinite and marvelous beauty We carry in these bodies, the resemblance of God in our ability to think, to communicate, to understand right and wrong, to be creative and to experience relationships with God and others.
The society has always had its set standards of beauty. To say the least, this standard of beauty set by the society is unattainable; it is unhittable. We are living in a generation where body-shaming is so pervasive, making the subject of body shaming feel like they are lesser human because of their body size or shape. Nancy Leigh DeMoss commented on this in her book Lies that Women believe and I quote. “The deception that physical beauty is to be esteemed above the beauty of heart, spirit, and life leaves both men and women feeling unattractive, ashamed, embarrassed and hopelessly flawed. Ironically, the pursuit of physical beauty is invariably unattainable, elusive goal-always just out of reach.”
It is perfectly ok not to nail all the looks that society would require of you. It is good to be body positive, but that will only last so long in this journey to perfection. The anchor is trusting in the truth that God created each one of us with purpose and intention; intricately, delicately and masterfully, he wove you in your mother’s womb without a mistake. (psalm 139:13-16) He made us that we might serve his purposes and ultimately bring glory to Him. These bodies were made for so much more than to be subjected to the society’s futile, vain and ever-shifting beauty requirements.
“When Christ offers to make his relationship with me the defining thing about me, he is rescuing me from the tyranny of my looks, my financial worth, my academic accomplishments…and all other things that fight to define me.” Pastor Kaj.
We have an obligation to look away from ourselves and unto him, setting our hearts on things above where Christ is seated and not on things below (Colossians’ 3;1-3). And the truth of the hymn “turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of the world will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace…” will be our portion.
Christ is our quintessential source of satisfaction, joy and true confidence. God did not create us to find our perfect home and fulfilment in these bodies of frailty (they are prone to pain, fall sick, they age and wrinkle) but to find satisfaction and completion in him who made them and since he is perfect, he made no mistake giving us the kind of bodies we have. God looks at the heart. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”(1Peter3:3-4). God is looking at the eternal, invincible beauty, a beauty that isn’t sensual. The world couldn’t care less about this kind of beauty because they don’t see it and don’t care about God who made it.
BALANCE AND CONTENTMENT
We must hold these bodies with the balance that God requires of us; it is a sin to loath the body that God has gifted you or mock that of another. It’s equally sinful to obsess over or to be preoccupied with making yourself beautiful simply for the sole purpose of seeking the society’s approval. I do not underscore the fact that this is a journey that you must take with the lord to get to that place where you are not clubbed down by external forces. Body shaming is Satan’s way of spiralling down God’s children, eroding their joy. The devil also seeks to diminish our view of God by making us loath ourselves hence killing the joy we find in beholding his beauty in others. They, therefore, ought to wear the full armour and fight this battle relentlessly (Ephesians 6:10-18).
May we be good stewards of these earthly tents (2 Corinthians 5) that God has given us; through mindful eating, exercising, dressing and grooming them all to the glory of God—casting away any form of envy, comparison, competitiveness and promiscuity. May we serve God in them, up until the time all the cells fall apart.