Day 6: Our Hunger for Beauty – When our hunger for beauty does not lead us to God, we end up stepping onto scales of comparison, dancing in circles of insecurity, and riding roller coasters of self-loathing. We convince ourselves the airbrushed representations on the screens around us are the standard of beauty and that we (the millions of us who are not gracing magazine covers or starring in our own reality television shows) somehow don’t measure up.
If only we can be other than we actual are, then we will have achieved perfection. It’s a lie that has become so commonplace, so acceptable, that we consider it normal to feel less than.
We so easily forget that the battle we fight against shame is a spiritual one. One of Satan’s oldest tactics is to convince us that God is keeping something from us. (He pulled that one on Eve in the garden of Eden.) Shame feeds us those “not enough” lies: you aren’t pretty enough, thin enough, youthful enough, fill-in-your-own-blank enough. And we end up swallowing an even greater deceit—that God somehow withheld his love, creativity, affection, and generosity when he created us. That God, in his infinite and infallible wisdom, nevertheless got it wrong when he made us. It’s absurd.
If you want to overcome body- and beauty-image shame, your main task is to understand your foundational identity; to remember, or to learn for the first time, who God is and who he created you to be. Reflecting (sometimes over and over again) on the truth that you are not just some random woman walking around on earth (no!), you are an image-bearer of Christ—that shift changes everything.
Consider: How do you and your friends distinguish between a legitimate desire to feel beautiful/have confidence and being obsessed with appearance or beauty?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for hearing my prayers, even the imperfect ones I pray when I am overwhelmed by shame. Please help me to know what it would look like to surrender my shame to you. Amen.
(Sections taken from Overcomer by Aubrey Sampson. Copyright © 2015. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com. All rights reserved.)