“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.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
Leading worship for a service, the passion I felt for God was overwhelming. I was not thinking of anything else in that moment. Then it happened. My precious hubby informed me that I had my dress on backwards. Yep. True story.
Before you start wondering about me, (well, you might already be), this dress looked almost the same on the front as it did the back. So it was not too obvious, but to a keen observer, something was amiss.
So I scrambled to the bathroom and did the quick switcheroo, laughing at myself. But then something happened.
I felt nervous going on stage and concerned about any other flaw in my appearance that I might have missed. I have been known to wear two different shoes (again, so similar, lol). Then there were socks that also weren’t quite a perfect pair.
And suddenly I was distracted with my appearance as if it could affect how I led worship, But it could. If I let it.
Have you ever felt insecure about your appearance? In a selfie generation, this is a big shame problem. We always feel a need to look perfect. Which is partly why we did the “Non-Pinterest-perfect family Christmas picture” on Christmas day. We just wanted to be. It was a great day.
But still we live in a culture where man looks on the outward. What are we to do? What if we could recognize this false perception and skip the mask altogether?
Don’t freak out, sisters, I am not saying you can’t or shouldn’t wear makeup. But what if we did not have to let our appearance or expectations for our appearance rule us?
Our appearance can cause a lot of pressure and steal our joy. So often, what we look like can affect our demeanor and perspective. I mean, who feels great going to a job interview if you have a stain on your outfit or you just don’t feel like you look all that great?
If we were just sitting at home looking a mess, it would not matter so much, but this appearance thing is such a stronghold because once again it is before an audience—fear of man—that we let our worth be ascribed based on appearance.
We don’t often stop ourselves and question why we are feeling “less than” because the culture surrounding us has infused our belief system with the lie that value and worth come from appearances.
So how do we rise above an appearance-based culture? How do we be ourselves without succumbing to the shame that such an “idolistic” focus on appearance can bring?
Change of Perspective
We would have probably chosen like Samuel did. The oldest son, Eliab, seemed like the winner. But God wasn’t looking at Eliab’s handsome features. He was looking at the heart. If we paid more attention to our heart than our outward appearance, we would not walk in the shadow of insecurity. God knows our hearts (deceitful as they are) and still accepts us. Wow.
Trying to be accepted on appearance leads us to a performance mentality that is like a taskmaster. we ride the rollercoaster of feeling good about ourselves when the outside is in order and being bummed when it isn’t. We don’t have to forsake our appearance to find acceptance, either. Being balanced in living for an audience of One means we take care and steward what God has given but we do not idolize it.
Maybe the people we are seeking acceptance from just aren’t our crowd. Sure it hurts. Stinks even. But to be enslaved to people because they don’t like what is on the surface is also very telling. They don’t really know us. Just the perception of us. Those who are willing to go deeper and know our warts and imperfections and still see the beauty within are the keepers.
Why live with shame when you don’t have to? God has provided a way for us to remove shame and live in victory. Come and release your shame in Jesus’ name. Shame Off You details a biblical method for removing shame and is available at many retailers. Here are a few places you can get Shame Off You. Let me know you bought Shame Off You and receive a free bonus digital download.