Is anyone sick of this commercial????? Honestly...and at age 55, no one mentions that not only has Marie Osmond lost 50 lbs, she's also had plastic surgery.
This one really got on my last nerve!
So what does this have to do with anything?
I looked on the table and saw my stack of books today: Bible, A.W. Tozer's Pursuit of God, Idol Lies by Dee Brestin, Writing Down the Bones, and The God of All Comfort, also by Dee Brestin. And guess what was on top???? Three guesses...
The remote to the TV!
Yes, that was a visual of my priorities sometimes. God's Word at the bottom of the pile with the media having greater influence. But let's face it. These images we see in the media, i.e., tv, movies, social media, the internet have us brainwashed into what has value, what is worthy of pursuing and paying for, and what will fill our need for affirmation and approval from others. And of course, that need is never satisfied as fads and fashions and ideals change in society...which we will "hustle" to keep up with.
I can honestly say (boy is my face red), that I have placed a high priority on appearance as a way to fill this need of being affirmed...approved of. I wanted to look good, be noticed, turn heads...but my needs were insatiable. I focused on the outside so much that, like the beautiful chocolate Easter bunny, I was hollow. I had no depth. I was self-absorbed.
When God brought my son into my life with his severe disabilities, God started a work in me that continues and He has promised to finish. No, I did not chuck my desire to look good...but beauty took on a different definition as I watched the beauty of my son and many others for whom I advocate who do not "fit" society's definition. Still those media images are powerful!
So how do we renew our mind...fight this squeezing into the world's mold? We go to the truth!
- Proverbs 31:30 says that charm and beauty are fleeting...but a woman who fears God is praiseworthy!
- I Peter 3:4 tells me that my adornment should 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.
- I Samuel 16:7 says that God does not look on the outward appearance but on my heart.
Scripture is LOADED with how God feels about me...Zephaniah says He sings over me.
And yet...we do not believe it as over $10 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in 2011. Beauty products continue to do well in sales even in a recession. And research bears out how outward beauty is so valued in America, showing than an American worker who was among the bottom 1/7th in looks, as assessed by randomly chosen observers, earned 10 to 15% less annually than a similar worker whose looks were assessed in the top 1/3--a lifetime difference that can end up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for an individual.
That idol of affirmation/approval of others screams out, because it cannot be satisfied. When I run to it, the fruit it produces includes depression, anxiety, envy, irritability, neglect of my spiritual life, self-absorbency, even resentment and on and on. When I start feeling these things, I need to stop and evaluate: there's some idolatry working on me here. Go ahead and say, "Duh!" but in real life it can be so subtle and so deceptive.
When I evaluate those who have the greatest impact on my life, those who I admire most, those who have been mentors in my life, those whose footsteps I would love to follow, guess what? Physical beauty does not even play into the equation!
I am my Beloved's; He is mine. But without my running to God's word to renew my mind moment by moment...that idolatry will continue to seduce me. Only God's truth can set me free.