My roommate in college was a knockout. I mean a magazine cover-worthy beauty. She had long, curly, dark hair, clear skin, and a figure that was unfairly fabulous. She was naturally thin, but not scrawny. And without much effort on her part, she was graced with toned abs and firm arms.
I distinctly remember one afternoon dashing in from my step aerobics class in my baggy T-shirt with my face bright red from exertion and my hair sticking out in about a million directions only to find her lounging around in front of the TV, eating junk food, and looking fabulous. She was (and still is) a natural beauty.
You would think that with natural beauty would come natural confidence. Not so. My roommate made faces in the mirror just as often as I did, and through many conversations in our tiny apartment, I discovered a great mystery. My naturally beautiful, effortlessly thin roomie questioned her own worth and beauty as if she were unaware of how stunning she was. She helped me begin to realize an important truth about my own identity—and yours, too.
Could it be that the source of this struggle has nothing to do with the reality of our appearance? If truly beautiful women, like my roommate, don’t feel comfortable in their own skin, is it possible that the root of this issue is internal? When we point our fingers at supermodels or magazine covers and blame them for the way we feel about our beauty, could it be that our crosshairs are set on the wrong target? By fighting our feelings of insecurity with food, diets, exercise, or hair color, are we attacking the wrong enemy?
As we focus on beauty this month, I want you to begin to understand that your struggle with body image, beauty, and identity is spiritual, not physical. It is important to realize that you have an Enemy who seeks to rob you of your beauty and who lies to you about your worth.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
What? Culture is not to blame? Fashion magazines and supermodels aren’t the source of our insecurity? Barbie isn’t the culprit? No, not according to God’s Word. When you begin to question your very value, you are indeed engaged in battle, but it is with an Enemy who has his sights set on your destruction. Scripture also warns us that the Devil isn’t passive. He diligently seeks to take what God intends for good and turn it in to darkness.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Your Enemy is not a jovial guy in a cheap red cape. He doesn’t just stretch the Truth. He lies to you about your worth—bold, terrible lies—and he is actively seeking to convince you that you are anything less than the stunning daughter of the King of Kings.
My question for you is why? What are the specific consequences of failing to believe all that God says about your value? What have been the results in your life of falling for the lie that you are ugly, fat, flawed, or worthless? Why do you think Satan targets women with lies about beauty?
Portions of this post are taken from Erin’s book, Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves. You can learn more about this book at www.erindavis.org.