We Are Created in God's Image
Listening to a local Christian radio station while driving my daughter to school, I heard a beautiful statement:
When Satan whispers lies in your ear about your body, your appearance, or who you are, and you begin to believe the lies by talking down to yourself, try speaking to yourself as you would your daughter, sister, mother or friend. Chances are you would never speak to her the same way you speak to yourself.
As a woman in recovery from a nearly two-decade long battle with eating disorders, this resonated strongly with me, as it is something I try to do daily. I strive to accept myself and my body, this gift from God, exactly as it is, recognizing I will never look identical to anyone else –not in size, style, or personality. Just as I was reflecting on how well the station was relaying the Biblical truth that our beauty isn’t found in physical things – make-up, clothing, jewels, thinness – but in how our Heavenly Father created us and our hearts (1 Peter 3:3-4, Psalm 139:14), they changed their tune.
With the very next breath the show hosts began reading an article regarding what food combinations make you fat and what foods you should not eat in order to stay (or get) trim. I became incredibly disheartened as the conversation dwindled from finding our beauty and worth in the unseen, to what would make us more acceptable and pleasing in the sight of others. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time it has happened, as I’ve heard similar things on Christian radio stations across the United States. The contradictory message these stations produce speaks volumes to the brokenness of our world and on what we, as a society, places value. Even Christians are not exempt from this “value” pitfall.
The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mark 6:21) Often this verse is used to reference physical “treasures” of this world – money, clothing, houses, cars, etc. – but it also applies to our heart desires. Spending our days lamenting about the physical body and appearance God gave us, and the desire to change those attributes, can become the treasure of our hearts. When the diet and beauty industries combined saw over $445 billion in sales in 2016 (Forbes), it becomes obvious we spend far too much of God’s financial blessings chasing down a standard of beauty that is not our Father’s. And we are continuing to pass this behavior down to young Christians.
All Christians have a responsibility to speak Biblical truth to those around us. Not succumbing to the values of this world in regards to our appearance (Romans 12:1-2) is hard to do when we are inundated with messages about how we should look, act, and dress. I’m not advocating Christians become slovenly or unkempt, as the Bible reminds us our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 9:27), but to take care in expressing appropriate values regarding appearance. A respectable appearance is a Biblical truth (1 Timothy 2:9), but we so often walk the line with making our appearance an idol.
I encourage all Christians to practice speaking Biblical truths about appearance, physique, and dress when the ideals of the world start to press down on you or your children. Your body is a temple and each temple has been uniquely knit together (Psalm 139:13-18) by God. I challenge you not to be crushed by the weight of the world but turn to the truth that stands the tests of time; to raise you up as an example to others of how the Father’s love adorns us and allows us to radiate with his beauty. God made you in his image (Genesis 1:27) to spread the truths of the Gospel for his glory. Begin by speaking them to yourself, knowing that when you accept this gift from God as he designed you to be, your joy will become impartible to those around you.
In His Grace,