I remember a couple of years ago, while I sat in the waiting room of a doctors office, there was a morning show on where the host interviewed a woman who had undergone over 50 plastic surgeries.
It was one of the most bizarre stories I had ever heard. I was a teenager at the time. After reviewing a list of the multiple surgeries she had already undergone the host asked the woman what she planned to do next. Her reply was to correct a part of one of her toes.
That was definitely not the response I was expecting. I find it almost insane that she would go through these lengths just to try and achieve a level of beauty that was a construct of her own opinions and society. Prior to this, I had never heard of someone who wanted to fix or correct their toe merely because it didn’t look right. A toe! Let that sink in, she wanted to correct the way her toe looked to suit her ideal beauty standard.
If there was some sort of deformation or abnormality, I would understand but that wasn’t the case. It was just bizarre and, frankly, unbelievable to me.
That is probably the most dramatic example I can use to show how, as humans, we seek to be perfect but guess what, in this we will never be perfect.
I can go on and on about how society pushes its ideals onto us as women to look like Barbies and Kardashians and even on men to be drop-dead gorgeous and possess a six-pack, but that isn’t exactly the crux of this post.
I understand a great majority of us won’t go through these lengths in order to change our bodies, perhaps because many have neither the time nor the resources, but what about our personalities?
Do we tend to act a certain way in public solely in order to be viewed as nice or reputable? While there is nothing wrong with genuinely possessing those characteristics, we have to ask ourselves, what are the motives behind our actions?
It can pose quite a challenge to uncover precisely why we do the things we do at the exact moment that we do them. It’s often only later on that we can look back and figure it out. Still, a great way to keep tabs on our motives is to ask ourselves: “does this action primarily draw attention to me or to God?” and “does this glorify me or God?” or “How can this best action glorify God?”
At this point in my life I have accepted that I will never be absolutely perfect, neither physically nor spiritually. It’s simply impossible. Sure, I can train towards an appealing physique, layer my face in mascara and maybe even surgically “reshape” my own toes, but if I look to personify this societal ideal of what perfection
I will always fall short -and if not before people, certainly before God. The same applies spiritually. If I live my life toiling to obtain salvation in my own right I will always fall short. There is nothing I can do, in and of myself that will make me look better to God in any way.
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. -Isaiah 64:6
You see, we may be able to deceive others, perhaps even God’s people, into thinking that we are better than we actually are, but we cannot fool God Himself. We simply can’t because He does not look at us according to the flesh (physically), but rather, according to the state of our souls (spiritually). That is what make the gospel (literally “good news”) so good. God knows that we aren’t perfect, and yet He still called us.
Why did He call us? He called us because He loved us? How can He love us, in spite of our sin and utter disregard for His daily goodness and grace? He can love us because He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into this world, 100% God and 100% man, to satisfy a debt on our behalf that could never have been satisfied by anyone else.
Roughly 2000 years ago, on the cross where He hung died, and the tomb from which he rose again to life, the sins of all who would believe upon Him and the Father who sent Him were paid for and the eternal security was sealed.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”1 Peter 2:9
It can be easy to fall into the trap of the world, telling ourselves that we need to be a certain way and look a certain way, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that we seek God and glorify Him. At the end of the day, He is all that matters, because while this life is fleeting, it’s author is eternal.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”Gal 3:13-14
Most everything we know and cherish will pass, just as it has from the dawn of time, but the Lord is forever. His love endures forever and He will be with us until He returns to bring us home. This He has promised.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”Deuteronomy 31:6
SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”