[I wrote this post for Joy Of It, where it’ll be published next week.]
Your worth is in what you wear, and what you weigh.
As far back as I can remember, I believed this.
I don’t remember where it came from – because I come from a family of fairly tiny women and people who know me will be rolling their eyes and going she’s so ridiculous because sometimes I even get to shop in the kids’ department.
Except, lies can also wrap around the minds of girls who don’t need to lose weight.
It started as an insidious whisper in my little girl ears.
It grew to a scream drowning out reason in my teenage and young adult years.
And there are still mornings that it’s the voice of motherhood and now-you’re-40! shouting from the morning mirror or across the school car park or at dinner parties or ministry events. It’s the hiss that I’m not pretty enough. Not thin enough. Not tall enough. Not hipster enough. Just, not enough.
And I’d bet my best pair of shoes that I’m not the only one listening to the lie because there’s a thriving global industry blasting it from newsfeeds and plastering it on Pinterest.
Recently, a friend told me about a school project that her middle school daughter was working on. She had to make an outfit out of trash. Recycling. Litter. Whatever. She had to make something beautiful out of junk. She sewed together dozens and dozens of used, dried-out teabags – logos and lettering of various tea companies still visible through the stains – and made a dress. A long, layered, heavy, rustling, unique, exquisite dress.
And I got to thinking –
What if we wore the Word of God like that?
What if we dressed ourselves, not in trash, but in the truth that we’re wearing heavy, royal robes. That we’re not so last season. We’re so next season. So never-ending season. Because we’re dressed for eternity.
We could sew together verses like so many teabags and quilt ourselves a covering that said things like,
I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like… a bride with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
We could remind each other to dress like daughters – not orphans – because God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:15)
We might remember to carry ourselves as image-bearers of the Creator-King who sees us and knows us (Genesis 1:27, Jeremiah 1:5). We might choose outfits that reflect how we’re chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession – showing others His goodness because He called us out of the darkness and into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).
And what if we started weighing ourselves on His scales?
Because we’re heavy with abundant life (John 10:10). Like, there’s so much life crammed into us that it weights us. Steadies us. We’re heavy with unsurpassed – paradoxical – lightness of being.
If – like me – you love good food, and you have two X chromosomes, then you may struggle with body-image issues from time to time. When I’m in that lousy space, I pray,
Choose my weight. Choose my plate.
And maybe we should also choose to eat this sweet slice of truth:
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. (1 Peter 2:3)
Because maybe what we’ve believed all our lives is true:
Our worth is in what we wear, and what we weigh.
And as daughters of the Most High King, we need to teach ourselves and the generation stomping behind us in our too-big high-heels that we needn’t fear the slurs of skin-deep culture because we’re gloriously weighted in the truth that we’re dressed for destiny.
. . .
Have an amazing weekend! And feel free to share this post with your people.
Seven weeks ‘til Christmas!
Grab a copy of Walking in Grace: 366 inspirational devotions for an abundant life in Christ.
Perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for person who has everything. (Except a copy of this book.)
Here’s what’s on the menu, if you’re reading this in an email: