A few weeks ago, a female cardinal began attacking her reflection in the glass of one of our porch doors. She would come several times daily, sit on our table umbrella, and throw herself repeatedly against the window. Next, she’d hop onto the door handle and peck the glass. Cardinals are territorial, and I’m sure this mama was protecting a nearby nest. Still, you’d think her persistent glass banging would hurt her.
Her repetitive behavior seemed odd, and I wondered when she’d catch on and stop the madness. But how often have I looked in the mirror at my reflection and pecked it to death? Can you relate? We’re unhappy with our wrinkles, sagging skin, bulging tummy, acne, and unruly hair. Oh, that hair. Then there are others who’d be happy to have a few strands to complain about.
Yes, I hear and feel your pain. I’m the person in the mirror pecking back. Believe me, my mirror has its share of cracks. But vanity is not just an old-timer’s malady. It’s ageless and can rear its misshapen head at any stage. We live in a self-absorbed, selfie-taking society that focuses on external appearance at the expense of our inner peace and our wallets. Cameras snap at birth, and soon our preschoolers strike poses with hands on hips and puckered lips.
The beauty industry is enormous. Billions of dollars are invested each year in cosmetics and clothing. Advertisers feature flawless, satisfied men and women who focus on our imperfections. “Do you have dry skin? Oily Skin? Crepey skin? Thinning hair? Frizzy hair? No hair? Yellow teeth? No teeth? Hooded eyes? Bulging tummy? Do you have the latest fashions or stylish glasses?” Discontentment is the advertiser’s endgame. After all, they have the answer to our problems and the products to satisfy our endless longing for beauty and perfection.
Once we fall into the comparison trap, engaging in negative self-talk and fault-finding is easy. But berating our physical appearance sends us into a downward spiral and hurls us into a sinkhole of depression and despair. It’s there in the pit that our souls yearn for a hand up. God’s Word will give us the lift we need as we read and learn to see ourselves through the eyes of our Creator. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness”(Genesis 1:26).
Disparaging remarks about ourselves disrespects God, our Creator. Pardon the cliché, but beauty is more than skin deep. We are made in the image of the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As born-again believers, our bodies house God’s Spirit. We are His ambassadors, sent to reflect and represent His Kingdom here on earth. We are the hands and feet of Christ. We are Jesus with skin on. There is no higher calling. Walk in your purpose.
Next time you look in the mirror and are tempted to peck on the glass, instead of succumbing to faultfinding, read Psalm 139 and speak Truth to your spirit. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).
Discontentment is the advertiser’s endgame. After all, they have the answer to our problems and the products to satisfy our endless longing for beauty and perfection. Drop by my blog for today's post, Mirror Mirror on the Wall. Click To Tweet
** This article was first published in The Randolph Hub, May 24, 2023