Beauty is a Beast: Finding Our Identity in Christ

Marriage / Musings Michelle Lindsey April 3, 2013

Beauty is a Beast: Finding Our Identity in Christ

This topic of outward beauty is a hot button.

So hot, I am a little afraid to discuss it. Some think women should wear no make up and wear dresses. Some think women should wear lots of make up and wear fashionable clothing. Some choose to go under the knife, some choose to age naturally. I have had my share of freak out moments. Recently, our family did a commercial for Logos Bible Software that aired on the History Channel. I wasn’t thrilled to have my extra weight viewed by millions of people, even if it was just for a few seconds. I have untagged many pictures. I have used make up to hide dark circles. I highlight my hair. I occasionally spray tan. I wax my eyebrows. I consider getting lines filled in and plumping my lips. Where do we draw the line? I don’t know. But I do know there is an answer that fits, no matter where you are on this spectrum.

Women battle tremendous pressure to stay young at all cost. Men cannot fully relate to this. They can gain weight, age, lose hair, and be pasty white with no real outside judgement. In fact, how many times do you see that exact description of a guy on a T.V. show or commercial? But he has by his side a young and beautiful gal. Give. Me. A. Break.  That is unfair. Who exactly, is setting these standards? We know to concentrate on being compassionate, kind and loving, yet we still agonize over how we look.

Maybelline tells us, “Maybe she’s born with it.”

I say, “Maybe she paid lots of money for it, or has worked out at the gym relentlessly for it, and still isn’t happy because she is looking in the wrong place for satisfaction.”

We all know we should be healthy and take care of ourselves with good nutrition and exercise. But that can even become an idol in our lives. Some people are addicted to improving themselves. We are fighting to compete with our culture’s unrealistic standards. Everyone is looking for acceptance and approval. But where should we find it?

We can’t even buy groceries at the store without passing between  half dressed, celebrities heckling us from the magazine racks. Telling us to enhance, tan, plump, reduce, push-up, starve, lift, undress, cut, shape, lose, and whiten. And right next to that are hundreds of chocolate antidepressants. I want to scream, “Does anyone see how crazy this is?!” I sometimes do scream that as I unload the food from my cart, and my kids hide. Really, with all of these pressures and mixed messages, no wonder women obsess over their body images. And the tug of war takes place until we find worth somewhere other than the scale and mirror. Who will love us as we are?

Our identity in Christ. No matter what we choose to use as a joy-filler, it will never be enough compared to Him. If our measuring stick isn’t what He says, then you are listening to lies.

When Satan tempted Eve, he told her she could be like God.

What if Eve looked at him and said, “Um, ya know what buddy? I already AM created in His image, so you are tempting me with something I already HAVE. Get lost.” 

Almost everything Satan and the world has to offer, are things we already have in Christ. We can still tell him that. The lie is still there, gnawing at us. Causing us to forget who we are. We often look past the good gifts He gave us:

  • Did God give us mouths for lipstick, or to praise Him, express love, and talk to each other?
  • Are noses for holding up fashionable sunglasses or for smelling flowers, ocean air, food, and diapers so our children get changed?
  • Were our breasts meant to defy gravity or keep our babies alive?
  • Does it really matter if we have glittery eyelids? We have the gift of sight, which is miraculous.
  • Were our faces created to be smooth, or show evidence of wisdom?

We are created to bring God glory, and to enjoy Him forever.

Jesus himself may not have been physically attractive, but His life shouted God’s grace and love to all of creation. Isaiah 53:2 says, “For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” Yet He changed everything. He rescued the poor, the marginalized, the forgotten, and the ugly.

We were made for more than some self-improvement project. How can we improve redemption? We are part of God’s amazing story. When our focus is on ourselves, there is no end to the madness. So next time the magazine rack is taunting you lies, close your eyes and remind yourself that the Author Of Life defines beauty, not Vogue.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

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