Research information shows that an increasing number of people are going for cosmetic surgery to boost self-esteem and self-image. The kind of surgery they go for is changing the shape of their eyes, nose, breasts, and abdomen and removing wrinkles and spots. When asked why they go through such surgeries, most of the answers were, “I want to look better, more beautiful or younger”.
In analysing this, I believe the real reason many people have cosmetic surgery is a longing for acceptance and belonging. Since Adam and Eve were driven out of God’s presence as a result of their sin, people have been trying all sorts of ways and methods to make themselves accepted. They’re looking for acceptance and to fill a void within them. They might be able to achieve or do something to temporarily fill this void. It might give them short-term happiness, but when this disappears, they experience the emptiness again. King Solomon knew this emptiness well. In spite of all his achievements, wisdom, wealth, he said, “Everything is meaningless. It is all vanity” (Ecclesiastes 12:8).
I’m reminded of the story of a beautiful queen who married a widowed king. The king had a young daughter from the previous queen and everything he ever needed. The new queen, who was obsessed with her looks, often looked into a magic mirror she owned and asked, “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
Each time, she got the same answer, “You are”. But, as the king’s daughter, Snow White, grew, she became very beautiful. One day, the queen went to the mirror and asked the same question. This time, the mirror replied, “Snow White is the fairest of them all”. This made the queen feel very unhappy and furious with jealousy. And this story illustrates how we can never be satisfied if, like the queen, we keep comparing themselves with others.
In contrast to this, God’s Word says, ‘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). We’re God’s handicraft. We’re fearfully and wonderfully made. Until we accept this fundamental truth, we won’t have the healthy self-esteem. We need to accept ourselves. And, as Christians, we furthermore need to acknowledge our identity is in Christ. We are fully loved and accepted in Him. The emptiness inside is filled as we enter into the joy of our salvation.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I’m sorry that I haven’t been thankful for who I am. I’m sorry that I’ve turned to worldly ways to fill the void in my life. Lord, I repent of my sinful ways and ask You to forgive me. Father, in Your grace and mercy, I ask that You help me to turn to You with a thankful heart and to recognise Your plan, purpose and will for my life. In Jesus’ name I ask and pray. Amen.
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