If any freedom fighters were alive today, they would be surprised at the levels of freedom we enjoy. Today people can do what they want however they please, without the slightest care about how their actions could affect someone else. You Only Live Once (YOLO) is a popular mantra that encourages indulgence. All one needs to care about is their happiness and nothing less. Isn’t bread for laughter, wine for gladdening life, and money an answer to everything (Ecclesiastes 10:19) anyway?
Whatever we call marketplace is a daily clash between an insatiable desire for pleasure and an insatiable desire for profit. Nothing goes unexploited for gain.
Self-worth, Value and Body Image
Many of us are captive to the world’s ideologies regarding what is desirable and beautiful. It is how we’ve ended up with a mammoth beauty and clothing industry. It preys on our insecurities, promising what we seek but never quite fulfilling that.
Layers of makeup, for example, could successfully conceal features one doesn’t like about their face, but only for a moment. Even where such outward adornment is not exaggerated, the believer is still called to pay more attention to adorning “the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:4)
And it isn’t just the faces, but whole bodies that vainly concern most. There is an ideal body type, which some pursue no matter the cost. Men and women have done whatever it takes to achieve that desired body shape, whether it be surgery, dieting, or lifting weights. But we know that God made each one of us fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14), whatever we may look like according to the world.
That is not to say we shouldn’t be mindful of the body, for then we’d be bad stewards of a good gift from God. However, we must not make an idol of the body, finding significance in our look rather than find it in the One in whose image we have been made.
Things, however, do not stop at getting one’s body in shape. They must wear clothes, and those had better be fashionable. Only that fashion is ever-changing; one even wonders how anyone can keep up with the trends. It is no wonder the industry is unimaginably profitable; people are constantly buying. And immodesty, for ladies especially, is ever on the rise as less (of clothes) means more (in terms of appeal).
God, however, takes pleasure in the woman who would adorn herself with respectable apparel, modesty and self-control; who values good works, which are proper for women who profess godliness (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Godly men no doubt take pleasure in the same.
From Whom Should We Draw Our Worth?
If the world’s standards should define our value, it will shift as often as they do. True worth can only be found in the God in whose image we are created (Gen 1:27). He knew what we’d look like before we were even formed (Psalms139:16). He planned our days (Psalms 139:16) and ordained our unique purposes long before we were born (Ephesians 2:10). And when we were lost in sin, even then he loved us (Romans 5:8). His love is eternal (John 13:1) and indiscriminate (John 3:16); hence, eternal life is for whoever would believe in him.
Where does your identity lie? Where is your foundation? It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man (Psalms 118:8). He formed us, and we were perfect in his sight (Genesis 1:31). We have the appearance that he intended us to have (Exodus 4:11), for he makes no mistakes (Ecclesiastes 8:4). How could we ever question the work of God (Romans 9:20)?
So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 10:31). You are the temple of the Holy Spirit within you; you are not your own (2 Corinthians 6:19). Consider the things that build up, not the things that destroy (Philippians 4:8).