As I sat in the hairdressers getting my roots sorted (long overdue), I had a flick through the magazines I was offered with my coffee (very needed). After a quick flick through I found myself sitting there drinking my coffee with a feeling I didn’t understand.
I found myself feeling overwhelmingly sad!
I sat and thought about anything I had going on in my life that might be making me sad and turned up nothing. So, I asked God what was going on and where the sadness had suddenly come from.
It turns out that the sadness wasn’t my own but the way God was feeling about all the individuals in the magazines that had no idea about their true identity!
Now back before I started my own journey of understanding who I was in God and finding my own identity, I used to read these magazines all the time (i’m in no way judging anyone who does read these magazines at all) but have found my own appetite for them has dissipated.
What was so sad, was the fact that the pages were full of women (and men) who were trying to ‘fit in’ to the ‘ideal’ of what it is to be beautiful, handsome, good looking, hench, ripped etc. What seemed to be happening was that they were resorting to plastic surgery, younger and younger to get ‘the look’ of the day.
I was struck by the age of the ‘celebrities’ and the way they will have to continue to ‘keep up appearances’ in the years to come, which won’t be cheap and will rely on them being able to sustain the disposable income they have and what a pressure this would potentially be. I imagined life would resemble being a hamster on a fast turning wheel, maintaining the looks and the lifestyle that come at such a high price.
In writing this I am not in any way disapproving of people making the choices they choose to make but simply observing and commentating on what I see in society today. After all, I am sat in the hairdressers myself having my roots sorted!
The bottom line I suppose, is that people just don’t see their true worth, their unique beauty, The need to change how they look through more and more radical treatments means they lose this uniqueness and start to look like the ‘someone else’ they hold up as an example of beautiful.
The expression that came to mind was…
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which means ‘the perception of beauty is subjective‘.
If we constantly look to the media to inform us of what is currently thought to be beautiful, we will be sadly misdirected as ‘beauty trends’ come and go. Our faces, our looks may fit for a season, but then what? Do we have to keep reinventing ourselves?
I am worried and concerned that children younger and younger are looking to the media to know how to be and that they start to feel like they are not enough, I see it in primary school as a teacher and I am saddened and alarmed by it. Girls don’t feel pretty ENOUGH, thin ENOUGH, relevant ENOUGH. Boys don’t feel muscly ENOUGH, strong ENOUGH, cool ENOUGH, ‘bad’ ENOUGH!
A generation of people are being raised who don’t feel ENOUGH, and they don’t know how to be ENOUGH.
ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH!!!!
I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where from the earliest age babies and children had words of affirmation spoken over them on a daily basis so that they would have this inbuilt knowing that they were ENOUGH and that they wouldn’t have to seek it in other things?
Well, as Christians we can live in a world like this with Papa God speaking affirmations over us about who we are, how beautiful, strong, courageous, unique and simply glorious we are!
Psa 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
As Christians, we get our value from God, who looks at us and sees beauty, a uniqueness that glorifies Him and someone that is ENOUGH.
We get to celebrate our differences and imperfections knowing that we are loved and couldn’t be any more loved than we already are. We are created in His image and He is multi-faceted, meaning so are we. We are a perfect expression of the Father.
Wow the pressure is OFF!!
Knowing this, why would we possibly want to look like or be anyone else?
We don’t need to live in a world of comparison if we live in the Kingdom because there is room for all of us and we are all His favourites.
We don’t need to look in magazines to see the pinnacle of beauty, we simply need to look in the mirror! God says we are beautiful and if God says it there really is no way to argue with the creator of the universe (although infuriatingly we do try).
We need to be comfortable in our skin and accept the ageing process as a thing of beauty instead of trying to be like the rest of the world who want to take a scalpel to it. Ageing is just part of a natural process this side of Heaven, until one day we get our new resurrection bodies.
When we understand who we are and our true identity in Christ, that is the most beautiful and attractive thing about us. It shines from the inside out.
2 Cor 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
When we consider beauty we don’t want it to be a beauty that is just skin deep, a shallow reflection of who we are but coming from a place of whose we are and the security that brings us. We don’t want to be like the world who just see the outward appearance, what is on display on Insta and Facebook accounts, but instead the depths of people and the gold that God has put in every single human on earth, that is just waiting to be called out.
1 Sam 16:7 But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”
So, let’s be the sort of people who look beyond the surface to see what lies beneath. We can’t stop the onslaught of social media on the youth of today and the peer pressure it puts on them but we can do our bit.
We can be encouragers and purveyors of God’s truth. We can speak into the lives of those around us and celebrate who they are. We can speak truth over them and into their lives whenever we see them. We can use the influence we have for good.
As I get ready over the next few days to head to the youth event that is Newday, I am going to use this timely word from God to speak into as many lives as I can. There will be about 7000 youths in attendance and I am on a mission to speak identity over them and build them up and pray for them to take courage and stay strong in the face of a world that sees beauty as skin deep.
I am going to remind them that…
Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder and He say’s…
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL,
YOU ARE UNIQUE,
YOU ARE FEARLESS,
YOU ARE POWERFUL,
YOU ARE COURAGEOUS,
YOU ARE WANTED,
YOU ARE CREATED TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
YOU ARE CREATED TO HAVE AN IMPACT,
YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!
That goes for anyone who is reading this blog.
How can you influence and shape the world around you?
Maybe you are a teacher (like me), you work with children or youths in a different setting, you may be a parent, you may work with people, you may be at college or school yourself. If you are alive and breathing you are called to bring the kingdom wherever you are.
What an amazing opportunity you have today!