I think we have all done it, once or twice. Imagined what our life would be if it was different, if we looked this way or that way. Basically, if we weren’t who we are today.
I get it, it is difficult to live in a world where everyone else seems to shimmer and shine as they walk by you. Perfectly shaped and polished. It’s nice to get your hair done every now and then, or grab some teeth whitening strips at Target on your way home, but that’s not what I’m necessarily referencing here.
In todays culture, girls are getting artificial freckles on their face and body. Girls are getting artificial eyelashes and artificial hair lengths to make themselves “more beautiful”. Some women are even going to the extent of getting ribs removed to have their waist look smaller, for more of an “hour glass shape”.
This world is filled with artificial. It’s everywhere, nearly impossible to escape. To me, these are people silently screaming that they want to be loved and accepted. They want to fit in. They don’t want to be the “outcast”. It’s like the young fifth grader who is the only one that doesn’t have Lisa Frank’s newest backpack – they just want to fit in.
Can we press the pause button for a minute?
Have you ever stopped to think that our comparison should not be a horizontal one, but rather a vertical one?
Seriously. Ask yourself this question, what would the world look like if we stopped looking outward and started looking upward? Let me give you a hint, very different.
I believe we have all suffered, and we have all been affected by this world, changing our character in one way or another. Allow me to tell you something ladies (and gentlemen), do not allow the darkness of this world break who God created you to be. You were created for so much more than false eye lashes, fake freckles, and artificial body parts.
Let’s try that upward comparison exercise.
As Jesus walked this Earth, did He have it easy? Not at all.
As Jesus walked this Earth, did He get made fun of, mocked, and laughed at just like we did? Absolutely.
What did He do about these things?
Literally, as He (God in human flesh) was being nailed to a wooden cross for us (the sinners who rejected Him), He asked the Lord to forgive those who were persecuting Him, and in the same breath they mocked His Holy name.
“When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father,forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
Luke 22:33-35, NIV
Now this was an extreme example, it’s not everyday that you are being beaten and nailed to some wood by your hands and feet, but if you look closely here, you’ll be able to see the intentions of His heart.
Or what about when Jesus was being tempted, as we are everyday. What did He do about that? Did He say, “Ugh, it’s just TOO hard! I can’t withstand, God will forgive me anyways.”? No, He didn’t say those things.
“Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
Matthew 4:10-11, NIV
I bring these situations to light to ask you to reflect on your heart.
As I reflect on my own heart, I can tell you in full transparency that I still struggle with overcoming my pride. I am human, I am not sitting here writing these words to you because I have overcome all of my struggles and hardships. I am sitting here writing these words to you to tell you that it is hard. That this world is so very hard to live in. This world has struck me down from the time that I was a young child, over, and over, and over again. All I could do was survive. Pride was my survival mode.
So now as I sit here, watching the Lord take off layers of unnecessary dirt that this world has laid upon me, I write to share my journey, to tell you that it is completely possible – but only with Christ.
An example that comes to my mind as I write this are those amazing weight transformation photos that you see all over Instagram and Facebook. You see these women and men who have struggled with a hardship most of their life (in this situation it is their weight), and then you see that same person completely made into a different and new individual.
Through relying on scripture (God’s promises), through trusting His process over your own or this world’s, we are completely made into a different being.
What is it that this world has done to you? What is it that you feel that you cannot escape from? What is it that is holding you back from fully letting go? I know that you must have some real answers to those questions. Write them down, share them with me if you would like, but definitely share them with the Lord. He came to establish relationship with His creation, don’t forget that He wants you to run to Him.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33, NIV