Thursday, January 6, 2011
"This year I commit to losing weight through dieting and working out. I promise to count more calories and focus on my overall appearance in 2011."
Does this sound familiar? It is a blueprint of many people's new year's resolutions for 2011. Want to know the problem with this healthy goal? The focus is in the wrong place.
In the Old Testament, the people of Israel wanted a king. In essence, they wanted a physically present hero who would represent them. They wanted to replace the King of Kings with an imitation. Saul was a man handsome in appearance and he was chosen as king over Israel. He fell for the classic Hollywood syndrome. He became absorbed with his position and failed to follow the One who anointed him. He disobeyed a direct order from his King. So the Lord rejected him as king over Israel and sent Samuel to anoint a new king from the house of Jesse in Bethlehem. Jesse had handsome sons and Saul thought surely one of those was chosen of the Lord to be the next king. The next statement is brutal:
"But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7
What a simple and profound statement. How many of us wrestle with our outward appearance? We are too tall or too short. We need highlights because our hair isn't as pretty as Kate Hudson's without them. We need to lose more weight so we look like the gorgeous models in the magazines. We need to wear makeup because we won't be pretty without it, and if we don't wear the latest fashions, our friends will make fun of us.
Jonny Diaz's song "More Beautiful You" has another profound statement. "There's a Man whose love is true who will treat you like the jewel you are." The God who made you, treasures you. He desired to make you uniquely because no one else could possibly fulfill the purpose He created YOU for, or fill His world with a beauty that is distinctly YOURS to give. We look to Hollywood or to our own unrealistic expectations to be our standard. In reality, our new year's resolutions should focus more on growing as a person and growing closer to the Lord than focusing on the improvement of our outward appearance.
Please hear me, I am by no means saying that working on being healthier is a bad thing. It is a very good thing. The Bible says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit if we belong to Christ, so we need to take care of them. But as you do, please remember how beautiful you are because the Lord made you. There could never be a more beautiful you! Your motivations should be for God's glory and not your own gain. You are marked by the ALMIGHTY CREATOR of the universe and YOU bear His fingerprints.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
You are beautiful,