For Jesus and the culture

Beauty is a rough topic among millennial women. Even my close friends struggle between the two extremes: eating too much, or eating too little. I have two friends with life-threatening eating disorders so I try very hard to not comment on anyone’s appearance. A “wow, you look good” could trigger something that I did not intend. So I keep my words to “ I am happy to see you today”. My relationship with food is not exactly healthy either. I even got to the point where I was drinking juice and coffee to have enough sugar to keep my blood sugar from dropping. Not good. Then there was the over-exercising phase I went through, which was very not good. In everything, there must be moderation.


This is the first time, I’ve ever written about this and I definitely have never said this out loud but I used to study magazines. Study implies more than a cursory glance. It involves some time and income devoted to the task. When I was in high school, I was always the outcast so I thought if I studied Cosmopolitan, Seventeen and Teen Vogue that I would be more of a regular teen. I’m not kidding. I went over each article like it was biblical passage, meditating on its words. It was one of the ways I learned strange things about love and about my own body, beliefs that I held onto for a long time. One of those ideas is:




I’m just going to go out on a limb and say… “THAT AINT BIBLICAL” Beauty standards have changed throughout history. Depending on the period of time, being pale and fat could be pretty. Now, don’t get me wrong in 2017, being tan and skinny is in. But if I am meditating on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is purewhatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8)… I don’t think I’m really as concerned about whether my body conforms to what you think is beautiful. I need to learn that certain things just don’t apply to me. Does an alcoholic sit around looking at beer ads and say to themselves I wish”? No. An alcoholic may go as far as changing the channel because they know that sidewalk café beer ad does not have anything to do with their experience and does not apply to them.


I’m not saying you shouldn’t be healthy. Paul also writes “

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12)” Let’s be honest. If you cannot breathe walking down the street, you cannot do your job of reflecting Christ. You cannot spread the gospel, if your life and health is in constant jeopardy. However, beauty is a subjective concept. It’s like the word “normal”. In the words of a friend “ normal is a setting on a washer dryer, it does not apply anywhere else”. So I declare: Beauty is when something God created strikes you. It is describing how you seasoned your words to encourage a friend.


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