When I look in the mirror, I see what lots of 40-somethings presumably see: sags and wrinkles and thinning hair. You older folks are likely muttering, “Just you wait.” You younger folks might find your pointy nose or scrawny pecs to be cruel and unusual punishment in a society that worships sexual allure.
But here’s a thought: When I feel ugly and unworthy, maybe it’s not because I’m a victim of the big, bad world and its unhealthy obsessions. Maybe the problem is that I worship beauty too. I offer this idol my time as I obsess over my selfies and profile pictures, as I follow the lives and diets of gorgeous celebrities. I offer this idol my income as I load my cart with products to halt or hide the aging process.
So . . . should I be relieved when God says, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7)? Ha! Maybe if I could borrow someone else’s heart—one not filled with vanity, jealousy, and idolatry! The truth is that my inside is worse than my skin-side.
Thankfully, I don’t have to borrow a better heart. I’ve been given one. It’s Jesus’ heart. Jesus, who had no beauty or majesty in his outward appearance but who is nevertheless perfect in every way. Jesus, who died to remove my ugly sins and make me lovely in God’s eyes.
When I look in the mirror, I can see what God sees: Jesus, my beautiful Savior.