Sister’s, I know this topic has been discussed to death. It is the dead horse, and everyone just keep’s kicking. I get it. I’m tired of it too. And yet, here comes the “but”.
It has to be kicked. Because although we think the horse is dead, it’s still very much alive. January is here and if you are anything like me, you have probably considered your method to lose weight this year. Am I right? (this is where you nod your heads in humble aggreance).
Here’s the thing, I am not about to spend the rest of my time telling you not to bother with your fitness regiment or that diet or that all-avocado and lemon juice detox cleanser you have picked out. I dont think doing any of the above is immodest and in fact, I encourage you to go for it! Steward the bodies the Lord has entrusted you with, and do it joyfully (or at the very least begrudgingly). Being well is important, so go do it.
But… (yes there’s another but)
Do not do it out of obligation to the cultures view of beauty or to impress those around you and do not make it priority number one on your life list.
You will likely stop reading now, because you think you don’t struggle with any of these idea’s. But let’s take a quick look at these danger’s before we eliminate ourselves out of the equation. At the very least, just humor me and keep reading.
Isaiah 3:16-26 talk’s of the Lord’s judgement on Israel in great detail. There are plenty of reasons for his wrath, but there is one scenario I find fascinating. It reads in verse’s 16-17,
“The Lord said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet, therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.”
In those days, some woman would wear headbands, bracelets, scarves, handbags and anklets around their feet. This was the culture’s standard of beauty. Sound familiar? They did this with their neck’s stretched out to impress those around them and show off their outward appearance. Sure they were polished and put together, all things we as woman desire to be, but God looked at them and saw arrogance, conceit and self-indulgence. And His judgement is fierce.
Being preoccupied with yourself in this vein and egotistical way is ugly in the eyes of God. We have to be very honest with ourselves and question what our motivation is to buy the latest trends and maintain a certain body weight. Are we overly preoccupied with it? Do we think about it more than we think about our neighbor in need? Are we looking to impress our co-workers, friends, our husbands friends or our hard-to-please family members? Answer truthfully because this kind of self-indulgence is truly hideous and God hates it.
God’s judgement for Israel’s vain ladies continues in verse 24, “Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.”
Ladies, it is clear all through-out scripture that our ultimate goal as woman is to live sacrificially. We are called to be humble. And in being humble we will think less of ourselves and our need to be pretty and more about those around us.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” ~ Proverbs 31:30
Woman who are preoccupied with doing good works and godliness will not be idle and lazy, they will spend their time on the things of God. The way they look outwardly will not be priority number one on their own life list. Humble woman spend little time thinking about what they want for themselves and lots of time thinking about service to others.
It is a tall order that I fail continuously, but sisters, we are called to be humble.
I will let Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 4:8 conclude my point. Let these words seep into your thoughts as you work to keep that pesky New Years resolution afloat.
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”