I’m not the only one stuck in ugly. A recent survey by Dove found that 96 percent of women would not choose the word “beautiful” to describe how they look.[i]
Instead of listening to what God says about me, I tune in to the Hissssssss that says God does not love me!
- Not Me! I’m the one big exception to God’s love.
I’m too much. Too broken. Too much of a mess. Too needy. Too ugly. Oh, I recite in obedience that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins, but I live like he died for everyone but me.
- Not Me! I’m afraid of God’s love.
When I keep listening to the Hiss, I discover that it’s often fear that drives me to hiding from God and his view of me. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of failing. Fear of being known—really known—and maybe not liked.
- Not Me! I have too many doubts about God’s love.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if God literally appeared in the mirror right beside us each day and reminded us that we are beautiful? That beauty is about more than the way we look—but that even our looks are beautiful to him? God is just so . . . intangible. The Hiss is so loud.
- Not Me! I’m not good enough to deserve God’s love.
The Hiss erases my perception of beauty and whizzes a lie of ugly in place of the twinkly hope that maybe I could somehow be okay, loved, even beauty full.
God knows this. He knows that I’ve heard the Hiss—God does not love me—and that I have believed it. That because I’ve believed the Hiss, I do not see myself the way he sees me. The Hiss in my ears distorts my vision of who God is and how he sees me, and therefore, how I see myself.
Beauty, as God defines it, is pre-fall and post-resurrection. God created us in his image. Male and female he created us. And along with everything else God made, he saw us and said we were good. Very good (Genesis 1:31).
Then came the great lie. God does not love you. The fall caused clear consequences of separation for Adam and Eve, God’s love for them did not change. What changed was their understanding of God’s love and their ability to grasp that he still saw them as good, even beautiful.
Just as Adam and Eve believed this hissssss, we do as well.
So God gave his Son—his one and only Son— that believing in him, we might be restored to God. God wraps the bleeding body of his Son over our “un-ness” and restores us to his original design, inviting us to see ourselves once again as good—just as he always has. Beautiful.
I still struggle. I poke at the prospect of God’s unending favor, exploring from a safe distance, wrapping control around me like a cozy muffler in a chilly breeze. But I am further convinced, and in that further conviction, I am more whole and therefore more able to receive his love and believe and be who he says I am: beauty full.
As are you.
If you’d like to see the promo video for the book, click HERE!
Elisa Morgan is a much-requested speaker and the author of The Beauty of Broken, She Did What She Could and the newly released Hello, Beauty Full. For twenty years, Elisa served as CEO of MOPS International. Currently she is the co-host of the syndicated radio program, Discover the Word (discovertheword.org). Married for over three decades to Evan, she is the mother of two grown and married children and two grandsons. Her Rottweilers, Wilson and Darla, love to take her on walks in the open space behind her house.
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- [i]“Dove Real Beauty Sketches,” Dove, http://realbeautysketches. dove.us.