Men, Mirrors and Magazines

Beauty cannot be bought or sold.”
Those are the words of a former runway model, Jennifer Strickland (check out her website here.) The searching and wanderings of us as women to look and feel beautiful can take us to the depth of brokenness and emptiness. Her story sums it up. You can be considered the best, the most beautiful, and still wonder why perfection is out of reach.

Just as soon as a little girl is old enough to know what “pretty” is, she is told how to behave and look to please the people around her. Her parents keep her well-dressed, and no later than Kindergarten the classmates begin to critize her outfit. About that age I tried ballet, but was a poor dancer so my parents put me in soccer. I excelled at that. Dancing wasn’t for me, but running on a grassy field toward the goal was! I could have received my validation there, in my acheivement or athletic ability. But after 10 years of competing on soccer teams with my sister and a sophomore in highschool, I gave up the cleats.

I have to say, our gifts can become our idols. They can be the measuring stick of our self worth. As girls, we do this with any special talent (gift) in our lives. Soccer could have been that idol for me. I gave it up, but I didn’t toss out my self worth along with it. Thankfully, I heard the voice of God and my family telling me I was more than that.

For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13,14

The desire to beautiful is not inherently bad. We go searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places. Reading 1st Corinthians today, it reminded me that the ‘things of the world are passing away’… in other words, they are temporary. Striving for beauty in the temporary aspects of life will only leave us feeling worse than when we started.

Sisters, how long will we allow men, mirrors and magazines to tell us when we’re enough? Beauty is a reflection of who Christ is in us. If we let the world tell us where the standard of beauty is, we will find ourselves in a race we cannot win.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you think it’s what God sees? Depending on my day or my mood, I can be frustrated with that mirror. My emotions can dictate what I see, and unless I surrender and emotions to Jesus before the day begins, I will lack the peace and joy that He wants to bring.

As my thoughts come to a close, I am not leaving my computer with all the answers on how to be truly beautiful inside. I’m not unfamiliar with the tug-of-war that goes on in our hearts and minds. But I am able to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and say a prayer. Thank you, Jesus, for making me with a beauty, purpose, and significance that no one could ever take away from me.


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