Don’t Like What You See?

Almost everyone is dissatisfied with some portion of their physical appearance. Some of us struggle and wrestle with this quite a bit more than others, especially women. My wife had a battle with this long before we met and began to date one another. I know all husbands say this, but my wife is a very attractive woman and she was unhappy with the way she looked; not just in a casual way. It had to do with a circumstance years before that now was manifesting itself in seeing herself differently than God had created her.

While we were dating, I guess this issue began to resurface in her heart and mind; after all, what woman, I’m told, doesn’t want to look attractive to her man? She confided in me one day and told me how she felt. I remember the Lord prompting me to take her by the hand, walk her over to a mirror and tell her to look at herself. I told her to say these true (not just make-yourself-feel-better) words out loud: “I am beautiful. God made me look this way and He approves of me. The Bible tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I will not doubt the beauty of God’s creation and I will not see or define myself through my own or someone else’s perception of how I look, but as the Creator sees me” (or something very similar), and to do this every day until it sticks. My affirming this often helped- and helps- to reinforce that.

This morning, many years later, God spoke something cool to me that I hadn’t realized before that deals with this very subject. I know and study the Word of God often, but have never connected these particular dots this particular way. Only God can reveal these things.

In Isaiah 53:2-3 it says of Jesus Himself, “…He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men…” JESUS IS GOD. Hebrews 1:3 says of Him, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature…” In John 14: 8-9, the disciple Phillip and Jesus have this exchange, “Phillip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it will be enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Phillip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father…’” And 1 Samuel chapter 16 talks about how the Lord was sending the prophet of the former King Saul to find and anoint a new king. God sent him to Jesse, the father of many sons, one of whom was to be the next king. When the first one was introduced to him, the prophet said to himself, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before me.” But God told him, “Do not look at his appearance or at his stature (height)…man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

And again in 1 Peter 3:4 the Lord says, “But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” So Almighty God is saying to all of us that should we consider ourselves unattractive, or submit ourselves (wrongly) to the words, perceptions and opinions of others, we will be slaves to these false perceptions. He says first that even Jesus wasn’t considered attractive or handsome by the world’s standards, that Jesus says to His disciples when they have seen Him (who was despised by men) they were beholding what God would look like in physical form, and that God (Who is perfect in all ways) looks at the inner beauty of a person’s heart rather than how they look on the outside. If you are wondering how God is majestic and full of splendor and could be viewed as unattractive to men, it is because of the sinful nature of man; it causes him to see and understand things in an imperfect way.

Have you ever noticed that everyone looks better when they smile? And that even the most beautiful women and handsome men look “ugly” when they smoke, cuss, or act arrogantly? You’ve heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Well, whose “beholding” is more important than Almighty God who created you? Concerning the outside, God says you are wonderfully made. Concerning the inside, the imperishable, never-fading beauty of a gentle and quiet, peaceful and joyful spirit which only comes from a regenerate heart that is submitted, obedient and walking with the Lord as He puts a new spirit within you and cleanses you of sin, is desirable. Never look at yourself the same, old way again now that you know the truth. God loves you!