It is so common a misconception that it’s almost difficult to call out anymore because it’s so engrained in our culture, but it must be said: you are not defined by what you look like.
I know what you’re thinking: “Rob, that’s easy for you to say. You’re so incredibly handsome.”
My worth does not come from my appearance or my physical health. I could get cancer or be in a car accident, anything could happen that could dramatically alter my health or appearance beyond my control. Though it would be difficult, that doesn’t have to diminish my self-worth.
At the same time it must be said that a healthy self-image will find us taking care of ourselves, because we understand that we are of great value, that the life we’ve been given is a precious gift, we are valuable. And a good cycle is created.
In fact, a sure sign of a poor self-image is a lack of self-care.
There’s a lot to be said about the wisdom of taking of ourselves. Not only is there nothing wrong with that, there’s a lot that’s right with that. But what’s important is that we understand the dynamic that’s happening there and we don’t get it backwards.
That your worth as a human being is tied to your appearance is a soul-crushing lie that does deep damage to us…eating disorders, self-hatred, low self-esteem, all because we believe the idea that our worth is tied to how we look. But how you look is not who you are.
There is a deeper identity.
1 Samuel 16:7
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
We become overly concerned about our outside to the neglect of our inside, which is what God cares about most.
It’s sad really that good people can be made to feel so bad because of the way they look, the way they don’t measure up to a manufactured ideal. What the Bible says is true: People get enamoured with outside appearance, God only truly sees the heart, the real you.
Obviously there is nothing wrong with choosing to look nice, or be in good shape and healthy. But when our value and our self worth begin to be tied up in the way we look, that’s unhealthy and life can get really ugly, really fast.