I don’t take selfies. I’m not against them. I’m not for them. I just don’t do them. Don’t worry: this isn’t a blog to discourage your selfie ways. Instead this is simply a blog of just truth about self-image. And the truth of why I don’t take selfies is simply this:
I don’t like who I see staring back at me when I view the picture. Who I see is a girl trying to look put together, confident, and beautiful. When you look at it you just see my picture. But I see deeper… I just see my heart. And the lack of beauty there is difficult.
Beauty is a term that haunts me. Truly. I worry about what outfit to wear and what shade of eyeshadow suits me best. I worry about if I will ever fit back into my pre-baby clothes. I worry if my hair looks shiny and clean and if my accessories are too much or maybe too little for my outfit.
Beauty, to me, has become worry.
Do I care too much about what others think? Probably. Do I care too much about what I think? Absolutely… I’m too much a perfectionist. Do I care enough about what God thinks?
And then I’m silent.
You can cue the crickets here because I cannot answer that question.
The truth is I’ve worried about beauty with me in mind and with others in mind…. but I haven’t thought about it when it comes to the Lord.
When I get up in the morning and get dressed and put on makeup and spritz on perfume and style my hair, I am not thinking about how the Lord is viewing my beauty. Because, except perhaps dressing modestly, I honestly haven’t thought about it mattering to Him.
I could be wrong but I think it does. And here’s why:
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. ~ Psalm 45:11 NIV
Not only does the Lord see me as beautiful, He is enthralled (captivated) by me. And He is utterly captivated by you. Because He doesn’t see us the way see ourselves. He doesn’t look at the makeup colors or your hair cut… He looks at your heart. And what He sees is Jesus.
I struggle a lot with beauty because it goes beyond the outside and digs deep into my heart, soul and mind. And I know who I am. I have ugly thoughts. I have ugly actions. I have ugly reactions.
There is nothing in Tammy alone that screams beautiful. Nothing.
But the Gospel changes all of that. Because in Christ we are a new creation. The old has past away. The new has come. (see 2 Corinthians 5:17)
It is hard to see myself in light of the Gospel. It is hard to see myself in light of Christ. But I am created in His image (see Genesis 1:27).
Do you see where I am going? If I devalue myself, my image, my worth, then I am devaluing Christ. Because it’s no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me (see Galatians 2:20).
So if I am beautiful it’s because of the Gospel of Salvation.
I’m beautiful because of Christ.
So I think the Lord cares when I devalue myself, mock myself, belittle myself because I’m saying I’m not worthy. I am devaluing, mocking and belittling everything Christ came to do: to make me worthy to stand before a Holy God through the cross and by His grace.
(Side note: He also cares when you devalue, mock and belittle others for the very same reason).
It doesn’t matter if I reach size 4, have beach wave curls in my hair, or find the perfect pink lipgloss – nothing is more beautiful to God then His child who has be made righteous through Jesus.
And so if I act beautiful, talk beautiful, or live beautiful, ALL of it flows out of that image of Christ in me. All of it is a stunningly beautiful effect of the Gospel.
And if that beauty shines to the world then they will see Him. We point them to Him.
I know who I am outside of the Gospel. And I see no real beauty in her – in that version of Tammy. But as I get ready, in the words I speak, in the actions I make, if I am centered in Christ’s grace towards me, then I am beautiful…. Because of Him. Because there is nothing more beautiful than Him.
No, I don’t like selfies. But I know whose image I reflect and I hope when you look at me, you see me radiate that grace.