So, what do you think of how I look?

You don’t matter as much as you think. Those are the words God gave me last night when I asked Him how I could be free from the nagging impression that I would never have the perfect “look” the world expects of all it’s inhabitants. As usual, God gave me words and a direction that could be attributed to no one else. Only He would tell me something so direct and blunt, yet so loving and sensitive.

I found myself thinking how good this was for my soul, yet how far removed from anything the world would seek to tell me. Who would think that recognizing my evaluation of my own importance is too lofty should issue me a kind of freedom I’ve never known. But freedom from consumption with the self is really a very wonderful thing!

Think of it, the world tells us your actions, your looks, your appearance, your reputation, are the whole sum of what matters. How little we realize that this ceaseless rant brings with it condemnation and rebuke. The judgments are not one’s that bring life–even for those who are temporarily labeled beautiful–rather, they breathe death into souls that were made for more than this.

Our adversary belittles us, using the world as his medium of choice. He tries to tell us our lot is cast and we are losers, whether we are well-endowed in the looks department or not. If we are not, he tries to convince us that we have no shot at true significance without them. If we are thus blessed, he will do his best to point out to us daily the fleeting nature of it all–telling us the end which awaits us will be more bitter than a beginning without a fine face or figure.

In this we see that every blessing God gives, Satan will seek to enslave us by if he can. He will work to elevate both the blessings we have and the ones we don’t to the status of an idol before our eyes. Then he will do everything possible to warp our souls in the worship of them.

So the idea is true that if we get certain things wrong in life that we will have lost the game. But the question is, what are those things that we can’t afford to get wrong? If it’s looks and and other self-centered realities, than some of us never really had a chance to get anything right. Were the world right, then we might as well go home and bemoan our cruel fate every day before we die–for we have truly been locked out from accessing the highest heights of glory. And, as we were truly made for glory, this is not just a shame, it is a crime for which we are unjustly punished.

But when we look through God’s eyes at who we are and who we’re made to be, we find that the world’s meters of importance can never diminish who we are in His eyes. He does not concern Himself with us on a you-must-prove-yourself basis. He welcomes us to His side with love; love that acknowledges we’ve made mistakes and our record shows that we’re mess ups, but that such is true only without Him in the picture. And the good news is that He really wants to be in the picture!

The wonderful thing about God’s grace is that He never says that we’re finished–and without hope–until we have completely surrendered ourselves to the self-consumed life of the world. He knows that when all we can see is ourselves, we are doomed to never be able to see God. This is the one state that God puts forth as the worst mess that mankind could get himself into: to become wholly god-less and unashamed. In God’s eyes, it doesn’t matter if a man or woman looked really good while they lost sight of God–what mattered is that his or her heart lost all connection with Good.

I forget this, everyday. I think I can scrape by if I just look good. I want purity in the world’s eyes more than I want purity in God’s eyes. But maybe if my thinking would change, everything would look so different. I would see the authority of the world as a sham on its way to being thrown out and Christ as the King who has kept Himself in the shadows for a time that He might see whether His people would hold to His authority even while He could not be seen clearly executing it. Perhaps He is asking the question: Will My imposter win over the crowd or are My children discerning enough to recognize whether their eyes are receiving truth–indeed, the real thing–or a short-lived lie?

 

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