Blindness comes in many forms–physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational. For some, healing happens in stages over expanses of time.
A dear friend of mine has a form of blindness that typically begins early in life. This beautiful young woman cannot see how fearfully and wonderfully and perfectly God has created her, inside and out. Somewhere along the way, the enemy enticed her to look a little too long at the uber-thin, air-brushed, models in magazines and the tiny, botoxed actresses who’ve had teams of make-up artists and lighting directors spending hours making them look “better” than reality. My friend bought in to the enemy’s lie that if she did not fit into a certain size of clothing or look like these models and actresses, she should be ashamed of her looks.
God understands how easily so many of us fall into this trap. We don’t realize that it is a trap when we start comparing ourselves to others whose looks conform to our society’s current standard. The enemy also uses another related ploy to keep us down in the pit of body-shame: he tricks us with false feelings of humility. My friend is kind and considerate, easily puts other people first and has a genuinely humble heart that never boasts or puts herself above others. The enemy can slip in the back door unnoticed and twist our God-given and God-honoring humility into a self-loathing that no longer honors God because it puts the world’s image of what we’re “supposed” to look like above the uniquely wonderful body God actually gave us.
Of course, we need balance too. God expects us to care for these amazing bodies and minds He gave us, and He certainly doesn’t want us to hate someone else because she’s beautiful in the ways our society values most. But He’s given us a roadmap for keeping that balance:
I beseech you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
I pray that my friend learns to see, over and over again every day, how amazingly beautiful and valuable and perfect she is, just as she is today. I pray that her perception shifts from seeing herself through the lens of the world’s totally unrealistic expectations to seeing herself from heaven’s view–fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image, beloved, strong, and uniquely perfect. I pray the same for me because I still struggle with that perspective problem too. I pray for anyone who has only seen how they don’t measure up to the world’s standards, that we may each be transformed as God renews our minds to see ourselves through the love of Jesus.
Amen and amen.