Proverbs 20:29 says:
The glory of young men is their strength,
but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
The young may have strength…but gray hair is the splendor of the old. Wisdom comes through many years of righteous living.
Yet our culture despises gray hair.
When I linger in front of the mirror for a moment…what do I see?
A gray hair popping out, that BIG sun spot on my cheek, and those bags under my eyes. Then there’s my beloved muffin top – possibly the thing that makes me most insecure. For me – all it takes is a mirror to get me discontent.
The only thing worse than a mirror is comparison.
We all do it – we compare ourselves to…
1. Ourselves and our pre-baby days. I marvel at pictures of myself from high school and college. I wonder why in the world I felt fat back then because I was not fat at all. I only wish I could be that thin again!
2. Our siblings – Both of my sister’s are size 0 – need I say more?! (I’ve blogged about this struggle here.)
3. Our friends – I have some tall friends who make me feel short. You know who you are!!! Lol! Those who know me well know I ALWAYS have a heel on unless I am exercising. Even my flip flops have a heel. (I have issues right? Lol! In case you wonder, I’m 5’2″.)
4. Our foes – if comparison turns into jealousy then we are way off track from where God wants us to be and we have gone from being a friend to a foe. Jealousy is ugly and deadly – it’d be better to pluck our eye out (Mark 9:27) than to covet our neighbor’s beauty.
5. Strangers – I’ll admit it – I’ve walked through the mall and have seen beautiful women my own age – thin, tan, shiny hair, glowing skin… and I’m floored…how do they do that?
6. Celebrities – Comparing yourself to celebrities is a lose/lose situation – they have trainers, cooks, nannies, hair stylists, fashion designers, and airbrushing! We can’t possibly keep up.
So what can we do?
It’s a matter of mindset.
What is it you don’t like about yourself?
Now praise God for it…go ahead – do it.
Does it feel strange?
Here’s my prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for my blessed life.
Thank you for my muffin top – it means I’ve had an abundance of food.
Thank you for my gray hairs – it means I’ve been blessed with years.
Thank you for my bags under my eyes – it means I have been blessed with many people in my home to love and care for and a thriving ministry on-line.
Thank you for my sun spot – it reminds me of all those fun days on the beach and at the pool.
Thank you for loving me and dying on the cross for me.
I love you Jesus. It’s in your name I pray, Amen.”
That’s a strange prayer isn’t it. The world says – suck the muffin top in or get a tummy tuck, color the gray hairs, conceal the bags, have the sun spot removed and on and on it goes.
Now try again to thank God for that thing in the mirror that drives you nuts!
It’s hard I know – that’s because you’ve been focusing on it and thinking so negatively for so long that your mind can barely bare the idea of actually praising God for how you are made. You have been beating yourself up with comparison!
Dear God, “I Praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14)
Focus on the wonderful things he has given you – eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to serve, feet that walk, a heart that beats, lungs that hold air, a brain that can read and understand this, and a heart to feel God’s love – wow – you are amazing!
Aren’t you wonderful (and I don’t mean this in a prideful sense)? God made you and he says you were wonderfully made – trust him that he made you the way you are for his purposes!
Proverbs 31:30 says,
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
May we remember what is beautiful in God’s eyes – beauty is vain – it is fleeting.
No one is going to outrun old age unless they have an early death. Whether we like it or not – even the most beautiful woman in the world will eventually grow so old that no amount of plastic surgery can correct the weakness of her bones, her hearing, her eye sight or the wrinkling of her skin, the spots that appear on her hands or the arthritis, dementia and frailness that sets in.
But her gray hair – it will be her crowning glory.
“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” (Proverbs 16:31)
John Piper says “The fight for joy is a fight to see.“
It is a fight to see things from God’s perspective rather than this world’s. We must fight for contentment with the girl in the mirror.
Choose contentment today.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6)
Walk with the King,