I'm going to tell you a secret.
Something I don't share with too many people. Which is silly because it is impossible to hide.
It is, by far, the biggest thing that keeps me from feeling worthy. Worthy of my calling, or my blessings, or my husband's love.
Those are hard words to type. But it is true. At my last well woman exam, my doctor asked me when I was going to try to lose some weight. She didn't even ask if I'd been trying or feign concern over how the number on the scale impacts my overall health. It was as if she assumed I didn't realize I had gotten fat or perhaps I didn't care. Neither of those could be farther from the truth. I can't not notice. And I'm certain everybody else notices, too.
I wonder every time I open my mouth or click away at my keyboard if my message is tarnished by my appearance. If I'm worth less because I weigh more.
It's not that I don't treasure this temple. But I won’t idolize it an attempt to conform to what society values.
I absolutely believe I have an obligation to care for my body which is a temple for God's Holy Spirit. I must be physically capable of walking where God leads me. But I don't have to be a size six to do it. Perhaps this is my thorn, to use Paul's metaphor. Maybe this keeps me humble. I can be OK with that, but I cannot allow it to steal my perceived worth for even one second more.
The Value We Cannot See
We cannot allow our body image to determine our worth. Nor should we tolerate physical appearance as the sole factor in determining the value of others, either. Look around you. People come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Diseases and deformities transform people into barely recognizable shells of themselves.
We aren't worth more when we weigh less. Having properly proportioned measurements, perfectly aligned eyes, flawless creamy skin, cut calves, or a tight tush doesn't increase our worth.
What we see in the mirror doesn't make us more valuable in God's eyes.
Unfortunately, our outward appearance is the first thing people notice about us. Society has conditioned us to believe our worth is found in what's visible. The fitness, fashion, and beauty industries have declared what is good but hardly anybody measures up. Yet, we constantly make assumptions about ourselves and others based on outward appearance.
We women are so hard on our outward appearance. I bet you could list off 27 things you dislike about your body without much trouble at all. And we spend so much time and effort and money trying to 'fix' our flaws to make ourselves appear more worthy. But God's Word says that it is our inward beauty that He treasures.
The treasure hidden inside this earthen vessel is what God values.
All too often we assume someone is qualified or worthy based on their outward appearance. It has been a problem since the early days. When the Israelite people decided they needed a king, they chose Saul because he was strong and tall and good looking. But he turned out to be an awful, disobedient, and prideful king. Then, to the surprise of many God sent the priest Samuel to anoint David, a scrawny, young, shepherd boy who looked nothing like a potential king to succeed Saul.
'But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
God doesn't see as man sees. He sees straight into our hearts. My soul is what concerns Him, not this earthen vessel it currently occupies. In fact, when Jesus comes again I'm going to finally get the perfect body – whatever that looks like.
Our outward appearance should never be our greatest contribution to society.
Our contributions to our families, friends, community, and the body of Christ are worth more than the letters on the tag in our shirt or the number on the scale or the reflection in the mirror.
Looking like a runway model doesn't make us any more qualified to share the gospel. So, our spiritual fitness must come first. Let’s focus more on reflecting Christ to others than on our own reflection in the mirror.
We are worth more than
what we see in the mirror.
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