Imagine your life as a non-Christian. If you were your same age, had your same body with your same resources, I bet you could be a lot “hotter.”
And by “hotter” I mean you could “wow” more people with your looks. You could be more trendy, more physically “flawless,” more “beautiful” (in the purely physical sense of the word).
In other words: the non-Christian you would probably be better-looking than the Christian you.
Why would I say such a thing?
Well, as I said in last week’s post, as Christians, we have more to live for than the temporary benefits of being as attractive as possible. Therefore we won’t (or shouldn’t) expend endless amounts of time, effort, and money on our appearance. (Not to say that all gorgeous women are excessive — I’m sure many just wake up that way. Well, sort of.)
And once again, I’ll give the same disclaimer: it’s clearly not wrong to take care of yourself, look nice, or be attractive. Just because you’re not trying to be “all that and a bag of chips,” doesn’t mean you should look like a bag of chips! But we should curtail our efforts to match an eternal perspective.
Assuming you are with me on all that, there is more to think through. Because even after we’re content with our beauty limits, we can still get discouraged when we’re surrounded by beautiful flawless women (which media seems to make sure of). But perhaps a little clear-headed thinking will be the remedy we need.
Why It’s So Hard To Measure Up
It’s good to admit that the world has a massive head start on beauty. You would too as a non-christian. Your non-Christian self would pursue beauty to whatever degree it made you happy (using any resources you have). But as an eternal-minded Jesus-follower, you are going to be set back a bit — and I say that for 5 specific reasons:
Reason #1: You are too busy doing godly things.
We only have 24 hours in a day, and there are many ways we should be seeking to obey God — most of which have nothing to do with how good our hair looks, how toned our arms are, or how much our outfits appear put-together.
So while you should take care of the body God gave you (that’s probably even a godly thing to do!), it will be hard to keep up with the latest supermodels when your schedule is full of godly stuff like time in God’s word, prayer, church, serving, fellowshipping, evangelizing, and using your life for Kingdom work (all of which non-Christians are not adding to their schedule).
Reason #2: Health and fitness will never consume you.
Where I live, eating right and working out can become a top priority. Naturally, women who live this way will look great. And honestly, I don’t blame non-Christians for this lifestyle. Whether it’s to live longer or look fabulous–both motives match their belief system (meaning: if this life is all there is, you might as well look good for as long as possible!).
But health/fitness can only be one of many priorities in the Christian life (and it’s secondary to most). Not to mention, this mortal body is not our permanent home, so health isn’t everything.
Reason #3: You want to obey God in the area of modesty.
The Bible commands women to dress appropriately and modestly (1 Timothy 2:9). However, if you lived like the world, you could dress in whatever is flattering, no matter how showy or provocative it was.
Not to mention, beautiful (and sometimes scandalous) women command the attention of many (especially on social media), while your goal is to not draw attention to yourself [Note: the context of 1 Timothy 2:9 has a lot to do with being ostentatious and showy].
Reason #4: How you spend your money really matters.
If you weren’t a Christian, why wouldn’t you spend endless dollars on products and procedures and accessories and clothing that would make you look fabulous? I know I’d spend more! But God cares how I spend my money (let’s be honest, it’s basically his money), and I am confident those dollars could be used for more worthwhile and lasting things than constantly trying to become more beautified.
Of course, we can spend money on ourselves; but logically speaking, we should spend less (or at least spend more carefully) knowing God will hold us accountable.
Reason # 5: You are living for so much more!
Ultimately we will never be top dog (beauty-wise) because we don’t care that much! Enough said, right?! I mean, if this life is all there is, pursue beauty to whatever degree you want! But it’s not, and looking magnificent only means so much in the scheme of things.
Time to Be Done Measuring Up!
I suppose these reasons can come as a rebuke if we are over-investing in our physique, or spending excessive time, money, or energy, on our appearance. To whatever extent that’s true, we should repent.
But by and large, if you are a Christian, I’m sure plenty of good and godly things are your focus — Which will hinder you from being as hot as you could be! But those good and godly things are so much more worthwhile, are they not?! That is what we need to remember when we are tempted to look more like this person, or dress more like that person.
Moral of the story: we should take care of ourselves, but then contentedly move on because we have more important things to live for — like eternity.