Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No wonder we have image issues

I was in the bookstore recently, and these were some actual cover lines on women's magazines:

"Burn 300 Calories in 22 Minutes!"

"Sexy Legs Now!"

"How to Fake Perfect Skin!" (Oh, I already know this one. It's one of my mottos: "Little powder, little paint; make a woman what she ain't!" Duh!)

"The Pill That Can Make You Look Younger!"

"Great Hair Everyday!"

An ad writer is sitting at a desk spinning these tall tales, hoping to make the cover of the next issue of "Selfish" magazine. I can just imagine the writer, sitting there in a cubicle with a few family pictures push-pinned to the fabric wall of his or her cube-office, writing empty, vacant, and delusional promises for you and me.

Why do women buy these magazines? Is it because they're thinking that maybe "this time, it will really work"? Or is it because the increasingly clever marketing moguls have figured out how trick women into buying things that promise improvements but deliver nothing more than mounting insecurity?

The only thing dumber than believing a lie is paying for it.

Let's contrast these empty promises with God's REAL DEAL:
"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." (Prov. 31:30)

God sees differently than we see. He has "inner vision," while ours is limited to the externals. A woman can't get the fear of the Lord from a bottle on a beauty store shelf. Cultivating godliness is something that only comes from spending time around the Person whose name is in the first part of the word: God. Godliness comes from time with God.

Cultural pressures to look like someone we're not are indeed effective for manufacturers of potions, lotions and other notions, as it keeps us in pursuit of something unattainable, while somebody becomes very wealthy simply by keeping us feeling hopelessly flawed. When it comes to hair, skin, nails, and even the body, much of it is what it is. This doesn't mean you shouldn't take care of yourself; it just means that taking care of yourself shouldn't become an obsession.

And when it comes to aging, we virtually have no control over the process! You will go to bed 20 and wake up 83 one day, if the Lord gives you so many years! We are becoming such  frantic creatures that there are actually women saying that they would rather die young than get old! It's time for a monumental change in focus.

Instead of looking at the outward appearance and comparing it to others, or worse, to the images promoted in the media today, look at the Word and work on matching your image to what God values. You can only be a physical beauty for a season, but you can be godly for the rest of your life. And that's real beauty.

"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his statue; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (I Sam. 16:7)

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