March 18, 2016

Beauty Begins: The Great Lie

by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha

“But I am afraid that your minds will be led away from your true and pure following of Christ. This could happen just as Eve was tricked by that snake with his clever lies.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 (ETRV)

Scarcity. The first and greatest lie. And, the spin the serpent put on it in the garden was not “Eve, you’re not enough” but “God’s not enough for you, Eve. You’re really on your own. Reach out and grab all you can, because everything’s on your shoulders.  No one is looking out for you.” We might act as though everything is fine, but rarely a day goes by when we don’t compare ourselves to others. Like water dripping on a rock, this constant pressure of comparison has worn us down. We are always striving to be like someone else in some way. If we all looked and acted the same, there would be nothing to compare. But, God intentionally made us all different according to His plan. We each fill a purpose. Imagine how boring and nonproductive our world would be if we were all the same!

We all know that longing to be wanted, to be loved and cherished. We long for intimacy with someone. We long for security, to know that everything is going to be okay and that we will be taken care of. We all desire that emptiness in us to be filled. We all want to be loved. One of our greatest fears is that no one will want us. We compensate by trying to be liked by everyone. We try to fill that void on our own. When we realize we aren’t getting as much attention as we want, we change ourselves for people so they will pay attention to us. Women want to feel adored so they wear revealing clothes to get guys’ attention. We want to feel wanted so we give in to sexual temptation and hand our bodies over to others. Men want to feel important so they bury themselves in their work, trying to fill what is missing in their lives. We want to be known so we change ourselves to fit the mold of our broken society – all so that someone might notice us. All of this stems from our searching for love in the wrong places and looking in distorted mirrors for our sacred reflection. When we feel we don’t have control of our lives, we find something, like food or work that we can control, and it starts to take over. The problem is that we are trying to take control of our lives when we should be giving control to God.

We all have struggles, but they can’t control our lives if we let God take control first. Jesus told us,

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Will it still be hard? Yes! Will you still be tempted? Of course! We don’t get to choose what we struggle with, but we do get to decide how to deal with those struggles. We’re all afflicted with self-obsession to some degree, so don’t let this idea overwhelm you. Instead, look at this realization as an opportunity to take your focus off yourself. It is not about thinking less of yourself but thinking about yourself less and others more. God was not holding out on Eve, and He is certainly not holding out on you. He is more than enough if we will release our lives into His care and control.

Get your copy of Beauty Begins!