A devotional thought from Mike Cosper for “Created to Reflect”
We live in a world that bombards us with discontent. Marketing experts know they can sell anything if they can make you feel ashamed to be without it. The covers of fashion magazines are laden with promises of youth and beauty, and they bear the iconic image of our culture’s favorite idol—a photoshopped Hollywood starlet.
The message is consistent: Whatever you have, it isn’t enough. You need this product, that beauty technique, this workout, or that diet in order to be beautiful, desirable, and happy.
How can we respond to this endless onslaught? How can we overcome the tireless accusation that we aren’t young enough, thin enough, smart enough, or successful enough? We need to hear the voice of God—through His Word in Psalm 139:13—telling us that He created our inward parts; He knit us together in the womb. God tells us, through the psalmist, that each of us is handmade. Each one of us is a unique, remarkable, image-bearing creation. The psalmist responded to this revelation with “I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well” (Ps. 139:14).
In 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord spoke to Samuel about Eliab, described as tall and handsome, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.” True beauty is God-given and God-defined, and so is true ugliness.
What we’re actually desperate to cover up is not our age or our love handles but our sin. It’s our sin that makes us anxious and insecure. Like our father and mother in Eden, when their eyes were opened, their sin was exposed, and they found themselves naked. Products and merchandise can’t take care of that; only God can forgive the guilt of His people and cover “all their sin” (Ps. 85:2).
Pause and Reflect
• What are some of the ways you find yourself fretting over your appearance? Offer these fears and concerns up to the Lord, asking Him to remind you that you’re remarkably and wonderfully made.
• Imagine if the editors of Vogue or Cosmopolitan or GQ came to believe that all people were wonderfully-made image-bearers. How might it change the cover of the magazine? What might some of the articles be about?