Are you “beautiful” or “average”?
According to Dove’s “Choose Beautiful” campaign, when faced with the choice of walking through a door labeled, “Beautiful” or a door labeled “Average,” most women chose “average. (Please click the picture to watch the 3 minute video).
How many of us would say, “I’m beautiful” and believe it?
We’ve all heard it, “we are all beautiful in our own way.” And we have no problem with that statement — until we’re challenged to apply it to ourselves.
Last week we looked at “beauty” through a different lens. (You can click this link to read part 1.) This week we’re going to get personal and apply that perspective to how we view ourselves.
How do you measure beauty? In our quest to cultivate an affirming environment we sometimes get high-centered on “inner beauty.” But that’s not entirely healthy and here’s why; we can’t separate who we are inside from the package God wrapped us in outside. God created us as a whole piece, not in unrelated parts. What we naturally look like is an expression of God’s creative design. How do I know that? Because God doesn’t make mistakes. The truth is –
God has embedded beauty in our body.
Now this is not an “I’m ok, you’re ok” pep talk. We both know that doesn’t count for squat.
You’ve been there; we hear some beauty pep talk and leave, shoulders squared, head held high “convinced” — until we stop by the grocery store and get stuck staring at magazines in the check out line. Isn’t it amazing what five minutes of captivity in the flawless-faced-gauntlet of “beautiful” people does to the “I’m ok, you’re ok” bubble? Doesn’t matter that we know they’re all faked. Somehow we still get sucked into measuring ourselves against a photoshopped 14 year old on a magazine cover.
Let’s be honest: In last week’s post, it was easy to believe God has embedded beauty in His world, but when it comes to believing you and I are beautiful, I’m not ok and you probably aren’t either.
We measure beauty with our culture’s tape measure, but God measures it differently.
Here’s what God says about it:
For I created your inmost being; I knit you together in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! My works are wonderful, you know that full well. Your frame was not hidden from Me when I made you in the secret place, when I wove you together in the depths of the earth. My eyes saw your unformed body; all the days ordained for you were written in My book before one of them came to be.” ~Psalm 139:13-16 (My paraphrase)
You are altogether beautiful my love; there is no flaw in you. ~Song of Solomon 4:7
True beauty is in the eye of your Creator, not your peer.
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But our culture twists it. It locks us into its own brand of “beauty” and tweaks God’s original design. “Beauty” has been hijacked by Hollywood. Here’s what a few celebrities have to say about it:
Julia Roberts – “The key to beauty is always to be looking at someone who loves you, really.”¹
Anne Hathaway – “I look my best after an entire hair and makeup team has spent hours perfecting me. When do I feel my best? When I haven’t looked in a mirror for days and I’m doing things that make ma happy.”²
Few women describe themselves as beautiful, but there is one . . .
Behold, the one and only perfect, beautiful woman!
Go ahead, admit with me that we’ve given in to it at times, bought in at some level. Haven’t most of us tried something that tweaked God’s original design. Excessive sun tanning, cosmetic surgery, extreme dieting, and other excesses?
Culture tells us we must fit the Barbie mold, “You’re not good enough, not pretty enough, and you’re certainly not beautiful. You are a genetic mistake — or the result of one.”
But God doesn’t make mistakes . . . even in a fallen world.
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Dear friend, you are not the product of random DNA sequences. You are not a muddled mix of your parents genes. You’re a one of a kind and what you look like isn’t a Divine afterthought.
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If God creates beauty through design in the cosmos, then how much more Beautiful Design did He pour into you, the crown jewel of His creation! Both inside and out, you are an expression of God’s creativity and style. I might be a Van Gogh and you, a Rembrandt, or a Waterhouse, or an O’Keefe . . .
God loves beauty and has embedded it in our world, in our heart & in our body.
When God created you, He got it right the first time, but the beauty of God’s original design is broken. Beauty is broken. It has been distorted and misused. Redefined according to culture.
But God can redeem what’s been broken by hurtful words, by our culture, by our own choices.
All we have to do is ask.
“God this is not what I want to be. I am tired. Broken. I can’t keep up with Kim Kardashian. And I don’t want to. I need something that isn’t going to change with the culture, with the latest trend, with age. I need someone bigger than me. I need You.”
This is where Jesus shines. Listen to His invitation:
“I can make all things new. Come to Me and I’ll give you rest. Receive Me and meet the Master Artist. Let Me begin the work of a brand new creation in you. Look! The old is gone, the new has come! I have created you and I can redeem you.” (Matthew 11:28, II Corinthians 5:17, John 1:12-13)