You can’t imagine the issues I have with my appearance. A lot of people may assume I just appreciate the fun of getting dolled-up. Truth? Nope, definitely not the case.

I had hoped to be Brazilian, or one of those perfect doll-faced Swedish girls. Maybe a dark-skinned goddess or a Moroccan Beauty… If only I could be anything but what I am. Turns out people don’t get to choose some things, and so, I doll up. I fill in eyebrows and darken eyelashes and smize like I know what I’m doing. Really, I’m just a chick trying to fit into a mold. The worst part is, the appearance of my face is just where it all begins.

I think we do this too often, you know? I have this itchy feeling like I’m not supposed to be as concerned with how I appear to others verses who I am to God.

I’m talking about something greater here than my face. I’m talking about a problem bigger than our need to be physically appealing. I’m taking about our dangerously audacious ability to consider acting like something we are not, rather than growing characteristics over the long haul through Christ instead. Our selfish need for immediacy is killing our ability to truly grow.

I’ve talked to dozens of women and handfuls of guys too. We’re all feeling this pressure to become something else, something more, or something less than we really are. We’re afraid we don’t measure up, so instead of pressing into Christ to grow true character, we simply put on the face of a characteristic in certain situations instead. Sure, we talk about this, but I wonder, what are we really doing about it all?

In the church, in our families, with our friends or at our work we all look pretty fabulous. We’re not doing fabulous, not feeling fabulous, but my goodness we look fabulous. We boast about our jobs, accomplishments, successes, busy schedules and honour roll kids. We boast about our weight loss, or weight gain; Our serious muscles and great hair. We boast in a way that seems falsely humble or falsely confident, and we need to be cautious because we’re losing our identity the more we believe we need to measure up to anything other than ourselves perfectly created by Christ. Perfectly designed and living inside the discipleship of God.

I think there’s a couple of things that happen when we allow ourselves to be caught up in the appearance of our character rather than our character:

  1. GOD IS MINIMIZED. When we make ourselves out to be so great, we minimize God. When we exaggerate our circumstances, and our God, we actually minimize His great power. We’re also telling others that God’s unique design of us cannot be trusted as good. Stop that.
  2. GROWTH IS STUNTED. How can we ever continue growing in God if we keep fronting an appearance? You won’t ever morph into God’s original design uniquely created for you if you allow faux appearances to matter more than the real heart stuff.
  3. PURPOSE IS WARPED. Here’s the thing. When we cover up our true identity or try to become someone society demands of us, we easily become lost in our purpose. It obviously begs the question, why do we keep doing this?

Here’s the thing. You may have started down a road innocently. Maybe someone called a quality out in you, and somehow it’s been manipulated, scarred, overworked, or broken entirely. Perhaps you knew the person you were becoming was never what God intended. Either way, I can guarantee you and God will need to talk about healing so you two can talk about trust. The only reason we stray from ourselves inside of Christ is fear. And like Bob Goff says, fear is a punk. Oftentimes though, we trust our fears more often than we trust our God. Stop that… it’s ridiculous. No one knows how to grow you like your creator. And also, fear is a punk.

What would it look like if you could really trust God to build on your unique identity rather than trying to handle it yourself? And what does it look like to show God He can trust you to do well with your character?

When I went to Australia I double-doggy-dared myself to go on trips without makeup. I dared myself to take pictures and be unafraid of sharing them online with friends and family. Maybe this sounds absolutely ridiculous to you, but this step took me decades because I was so used to people seeing me a certain way, and commenting about it if they’d seen me without my cover. Funny thing is, I didn’t make any less friends, I didn’t suffer any differently in my identity. In fact, I think people just got to see me.

Our heart is in good hands when placed into the hands of God. Our identity, our vision, and our purpose is best fulfilled when we dig deeply with God rather than stay surface with society. Can I challenge you? Stop being what you were never intended to be. Stop trying to define yourself within the confines of an ever-changing demand of a society who doesn’t know you. Start placing your whole being inside the perfection of Christ, and see Him restore your character, grow your vision, and fulfill His purpose in you. I promise, inside God, your heart is in good hands.