Yesterday I downloaded My Fitness Pal to my phone. Again.
I have felt overweight ever since my son Jack was born 6 years ago. Whether or not this is true is besides the point. Since then, I have not been able to maintain my pre-pregnancy weight for more than a few months and I HATE counting calories.
The results are more often than not disheartening as I step on the scale to see not a pound, but only ounces decrease after painstakingly measuring, pouring, denying myself food so I can lose an inch or two off of my belly.
I know I’m not alone.
Our culture has taught us women that people will first look at our appearance – that our sex appeal is the most important impression we give. And we better not look like we’re trying to be attractive. It must be natural, inspiring, who we are as women.
The cultural emphasis on beauty was exactly the same 2500+ years ago during the time of the exile of the Jews. You might already know Esther’s story, but in case you don’t, here’s a recap:
Esther was selected as the most beautiful woman in her province to compete with other beautiful women to become the queen of Persia. For a year, these women received beauty treatments & special diets – think Extreme Makeover without the plastic surgery. Esther won and was chosen to be the queen based solely on her looks.
Though queen, Esther’s relationship with her husband was not equal. She could not enter his presence without being beckoned; she faced death unless he pardoned her.
So imagine Esther’s fear when her cousin told her she needed to intercede for her people, the Jews, who were scheduled to be annihilated by a government official. Esther had been primed for beauty and the sexual pleasure of her husband. She was not his confidant, not an adviser. She had no place using her voice to impact the Persian Empire.
But she took the risk anyways. When she spoke, the king was horrified and hung the man who plotted the genocide of the Jews.
Esther was so much more than a pretty face.
She was a voice for justice.
You have a voice, too.
We spend so much time looking in the mirror at our flaws and fat. Imagine what could change in this world if we looked out our doors and windows at the needs around us. We feel like we don’t have the skills or the opportunities to make a difference, but if God has placed it in your heart to see something improve, I believe He will give you the ability to do it.
Are the children in your neighborhood being fed?
Do you suspect domestic violence?
Is racism an underlying thread of your community?
Maybe a family member needs encouragement. A mom at your church needs a meal and an adult conversation. A church member needs a home.
Where is God prompting you to use your voice or actions to make a difference?
You are so much more than what the world tells you. God isn’t looking at your outward appearance. He is not looking down on you for that pimple at the end of your nose (mercy) or the fact that you haven’t showered in 3 days. No. He is equipping you to be His voice of justice and mercy in this fallen world.
So as you seek health for you body, look out for the health of the world around you.
Your voice is powerful.
You are much more than a pretty face.