“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17 MSG).
Before I gave my life to Christ fourteen years ago, I thought I could be loved merely by how I looked or what I could offer others. In return, I also looked for love based on those fruitless values. As stated in this scripture, it got me nowhere except in a lot of trouble.
The bible described Jesus like this:
“There is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2)
However, we had to somehow glamorize Jesus in our own eyes to make ourselves feel better. Jesus did not look like the American version we’ve created. He wasn’t a blue-eyed, blonde, white man, with flawless skin.
Looks are deceiving. No one noticed Jesus was the Messiah because He just didn’t seem to “look” the part. They judged Him by where He came from, without really even knowing where He originated. Jesus didn’t fit the part. Didn’t fit the picture they had drawn up on grand paper plans and blueprints. In their human eyes, they just couldn’t see how He’d fit the bill. So they cast Him off. Mocked Him. Ridiculed Him, and plotted His murder.
So many of us today are judged this way, too. We feel so unloved because we’re a few pounds over weight, or our hair isn’t long enough, or our eyes aren’t the right color. And society picks us apart, flaw by flaw, leaving us feeling unworthy of love.
Too many people today spend more time and more money trying to look like everyone else BUT themselves. By doing so, they believe they will finally be loved. “The world will love me if I look like her and act like her…” The media feeds on people who feel this way. And no one is happier or loved more because of it.
When we change ourselves to fit a mold, we lose everything unique about who God created us to be…who He fell in love with in the first place. And when love comes along based on what we do, what we look like, and how much money we have, that love won’t last long. It’s a fake. It fades as quickly as their faux beauty.
Love in this manner is superficial and confining. It places you in a very strict box, unable to truly move and grow. You become stuck inside something you’re not. This kind of love demands that you be anything BUT yourself. It requires a lot of hard work and effort.
God’s love doesn’t work this way. What a relief! He sees the inside, and I pray the inside is much more beautiful than what we look like on the outside. And sometimes, God doesn’t even care about that, because He knows what He can do with all that ugliness inside of us, too. He can change us. Create us anew!
God’s love changes us because He is relentless. His love is never tiresome. It doesn’t require us to pretend to be someone we’re not. God’s love is pure and untainted. It is holy and to be expected even in all of our faults and sin. God hates the sin but loves the sinner. What great news!!
God doesn’t believe in mere second chances. His chances are eternal. His love is so forgiving and eager to move on, allowing us to grow from our mistakes time after time after time. His love is encouraging and motivating, prompting us to keep going because His love never quits, either.
Next week we’re going to dig even deeper into God’s love, but from a different viewpoint. We’re going to discuss being true to who we are, while also delving into this notion of trying to fit into the world’s mold of who we should be.
I truly believe God is going to do a miracle next week, so if you or someone you know suffers from body issues, I pray you will come back and refer your friends and family to join us, also.