“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.’” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31, NKJV)
Many of us believe the lie that our outward appearance is the most important thing about us. We think it will bring the other things we crave: popularity, friendships, acceptance. Yet too often we fall short of the world’s standards of beauty. As a result, we feel that we don’t belong or wish that we were different.
Like most other young women, I have struggled with this for years. Not satisfied with my own appearance, I wish to cast aside what God has given me—the appearance and form that He designed and intended—and replace it with another. I want to slip into the skin of another girl and receive the attention she gets. If I believe that my appearance is the most important thing about me, I can easily feel inferior or even, at times, worthless, whenever I don’t feel beautiful. Yet all around me, I am bombarded with the cultural message that in order to fit in, in order to be important or worth something, I must be beautiful in the eyes of the world.
This is a lie. Because there is something far more precious within me—and you—that goes beneath physical beauty. To pursue physical beauty alone is to be satisfied with the substitute rather than the real thing—to eat one’s fill of hors d’oeuvres before setting eyes on the wedding feast. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “We are far too easily pleased.”
I am referring not to inner beauty but rather to something far greater: God Himself, the Holy Spirit, who resides in me because I have accepted Christ as my Savior. The more I walk with Him, the more I realize that I am not beautiful. He, however, is the Creator and the very definition of Beauty. My own sin and the ugliness on the inside only serves as a contrast to the glory of Him. Which brings me to the most important thing about me and you: moving out of the way so that God can shine through us.
When I measure my outward beauty against that of others, I am focused on myself. My standard for worth is subjective—and fleeting.
However, when I grasp the joy that comes from allowing Christ to reveal Himself—His love, His mercy, His joy—through me, I no longer care about how I measure up to other people. Because at that moment, it is no longer about me. It is about the most important thing about me—which is not really about me at all.
About the Writer:
Natalie Macek is a twenty-year-old college student. She studies Middle Childhood Education at Cedarville University in Ohio, with the goal of becoming a middle school English or Math teacher. Currently, she works as the editor for Polished, an e-magazine for Christian teen girls and their moms. Natalie is passionate about her faith in God and about reminding girls of their identity and value in Him, especially as they navigate the struggles of middle and high school.