Would you rather be described as beautiful or pretty? (Ask yourself and answer honestly) Now ask yourself, Is there a difference between the two?
This is one of the initial questions we are asked to ponder in Beauty Begins: Making Peace with Your Reflection by mother/daughter team Chris Shook & Megan Shook Alpha. Chapter One entitled The Distorted Reflection invites us to discover the beautiful truth about God’s word concerning us, his precious daughters. But first, we must confront the lies we’ve accepted about ourselves via the OG liar himself, Satan. Jesus sheds some light on Satan’s entire agenda in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
See, the enemy of your soul wants to rob you of your self-worth, self-image, and your self-esteem. If Satan can get you to believe the lie that you are inadequate & cause you to hate your reflection, he succeeds in getting you to declare war on yourself. Why? Because he would hate for you to realize how fabulous you are or how fearfully & marvelously made you are…or that you represent God’s artistry. If you ever came into the knowledge that you are distinctly unique & important to God, you’d be unstoppable! Unfortunately, many of us accept the lies without question and the quest to be pretty and perfect begins.
In the song Pretty Hurts Beyonce poetically describes the ugly truth about our societal obsession with pretty: “Pretty hurts, Shine the light on whatever’s worse. Perfection is the disease of a nation. Pretty hurts, Shine the light on whatever’s worse. Tryna fix something, but you can’t fix what you can’t see. It’s the soul that needs the surgery.” After listening to such lyrics, one has to ask, If pretty hurts why bother? Well, as Chris & Megan point out in our reading, over time our culture has confused the concept of pretty with true beauty. With each decade changes in fashion & beauty impacted our overall perception of what was desirable.Pretty varies from culture to culture & is constantly changing within cultures.
In American society we’ve shifted from curvy to slim to waif thin back to curvy again. Hemlines have gone up an down, changing every decade as much as our fad diets. When women rely solely on the inconsistency of cultural ideals, it promotes insecurity & a need for man’s validation. The remedy for our national disease is the truth of God’s word and a willingness to embrace our true reflection in Christ. Beauty begins at the Cross! God took the ugliest event in history and used it to produce death defying, earth shaking, unconditional love.
It’s time to turn away from the images staring back at us in the media & see our true reflection in God’s word. Don’t believe the lies that you’re too fat, too skinny, too dark, too pale, too weird, too nerdy, etc… You are a masterpiece, God’s work of art! If you haven’t already, grab a copy of Beauty Begins and join Kira’s Krew as we finish up our 2nd quarter study of Self Love this month. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Rest in this truth all week long and allow God’s love to cast out all fear. This week, make a list of beautiful traits you would like to build into your character, based on the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galations 5:22-23. Allow the seeds of love & righteousness to produce fruit!
Love you to life, XO