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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Chapter 3

Mirror, Mirror in my Heart

Why are women so driven to compete with one another?
Why do we starve ourselves or exercise to the point of collapsing?
Why do we compare ourselves to everyone?
We have a fear that we won't look good, but why?

Believing Lies...

We are deceived into thinking that being beautiful is the answer to all of our problems. If we are thin we would find true happiness and contentment. Life would be perfect. We seek after lesser joys when we believe that the image in the mirror will bring happiness and contentment, instead of in our relationship with God.

On the surface...

It's easiest to believe that our problems are only on the surface. It's a harder pill to swallow that we're sinners or idolators. Our focus on outward appearances is only a distraction from our real character flaws. 1 John 2:16 says, "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but it's from the world."

Believing these lies causes most women to experience anxiety about their appearance. It might manifest as spending unnecessary minutes in front of the mirror trying to fix what is unacceptable... or stewing internally in regrets and if only's. Concerning yourself with appearance can chew up amazing amounts of time and energy. "I'm a failure" preoccupations rob women of the joy and freedom of faith in Christ the Lord. It saps energy that could be spent in loving concern for others.

Pursuing this lie is pointless, a chasing after the wind. When we are focused on looking good, there will never be a time that we are satisfied. Our hearts will never be satisfied with appearances because God didn't create our hearts to find joy and contentment from the mirror.

It comes down to the heart...

So, what does the Bible say about outward appearances? Proverbs 31:30 states, "charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." This verse shows two things. First, it's stating that outward appearances don't involve the heart. Secondly, this verse points out that beauty is fleeting and will perish with time. 1Peter 3:3-4 also speaks of our fleeting outward beauty, "let not your adornment be merely external... but let it be the hidden person of the of the heart, with the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

Fitzgerald believes that it's not wrong to be attractive and take care of our outer appearance. But, we have to be careful of our heart motives in taking care of our appearances. Ask yourself a few questions to determine where your heart lies...
  • Are you spending all your finances in the pursuit of beauty and outward appearances?
  • Are you trusting in your appearance to bring joy? To control your world?
  • Are you looking for the praise of others instead of God?

In 2 Corinthians 5, it speaks of longing to leave our earthly bodies so that we can be with Christ. How are you preparing yourself for eternity? Are you content or consumed with things of the world that have fading beauty?

God desires so much more for us than fading beauty. Instead, God desires to see in us the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.

Proverbs 31:30 ends by saying that a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. Fearing the Lord means standing in awe of him. When we stand in awe of His great works, we can believe what He says about us. His word tells us what we should seek after, what we should value and what we should fear. The Bible says that we are only to fear God, not others opinions.

Above all else, seek first his kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). This verse is encouragement to pursue things of God. Don't settle for things of this world. God is molding, shaping and changing you to be more like Him. He won't end His great work in you until you meet with Him in eternity.