By Better Days Global, Apr 22 2018 06:56PM
Last Sunday I was getting ready in the morning before going to church…my usual routine of having a shower, getting dressed, doing my hair, etc. Then I looked in the mirror. The first thought that entered my head was 'my face looks awful’. I felt tired and I could see that tiredness in my face, my eyes had darker circles than normal and I really didn’t look wide awake.
My next thought was, ‘I need to put makeup on this morning’.
Following this was me having a conversation with myself in my head. The one part of me that wanted to try and cover up how tired I looked which, let’s be honest, probably looked about 10 times worse through my eyes than it would to anyone else. The other part of me was questioning who would be benefitting from me wearing the makeup. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t doing it for me. If I had picked up the mascara and concealer, it would have been for the benefit of other people. Even though I was really annoyed with myself about this, it still took me about thirty minutes to stand firm in my decision and leave the house ‘fresh faced’.
At the beginning of this year, I decided that I was going to have at least one make up free day a week. Not only to benefit my skin but to also challenge myself. I’d got into the habit of wearing it daily, which wasn’t good for me in so many ways. I didn’t want to rely on cosmetic products to feel good about myself, or to think that they were making me a better person. In recent months that one day has spanned over weeks and I think I actually went about six weeks without using one product or needing to use one facewipe.
Did this affect me? No
Did it have a negative impact on anyone else? No
So why, all of a sudden, did I have an overwhelming urge to try and alter what I was viewing as an imperfection? Why did I want people to see a ‘better’ version of my face? I don’t really know the answer to that question but I do know I felt God challenging me. How concerned am I about what my actions are displaying? What my words are portraying?
1 Samuel 16:7 says: ‘But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’’
This is said in the context of Samuel seeking a new King, one to replace Saul on the throne. He discovers that the Lord has chosen David, a young shepherd boy, working in his father’s field. A boy who grew to be a man that served God (not perfectly, none of us are ever going to achieve this), he was courageous and he did what he had been called to do.
How much more should I be concerned with the ways in which I am serving the Lord, the things that He sees when He looks at my heart and how I can serve Him faithfully for all of my days.
Last Sunday morning I felt challenged to spend less time looking in the mirror, at my outward appearance and more time asking God how I can better follow Him or reading the Bible or in prayer.
In society, we have so much to contend with, so many standards that we’re expected to reach, that if we don’t we will be judged for. If I had put makeup on last Sunday morning, I probably would have felt worse after I had taken it off and begun to be sucked back into the lies that I need to wear it everyday because I don’t look good enough without it. These are the awful pressures that we are all facing. Ones that children and young people are being shaped by and are growing up with. Some of whom are being hugely impacted by what the media is telling them they should be like.
We have the use of a powerful tool: Words
We can speak positively over one another, we can point each other to Jesus. We can remember that it is our hearts that matter. We can live a life that is beautiful. I’m not saying that I’m never going to wear make up again, but when I do, it will be because I want to not because that’s what I think I should do for the benefit of others. I’m going to do my very best to ensure that it is my heart that is beautiful.
Written by Kate Newhook