"Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it." (1 Timothy 2:8-10 MSG)
The world says that you have to reach a certain standard, look a certain way, and be a new level of tough in order to have any worth. It repeats the same melody: "take, take, take," and twirls our hearts around a string of lies.
The world says that in order to win, you have to raise your fists.
The world says that in order to have worth, you have to act a certain way.
The world says that in order to be beautiful, you have to look the part.
The world lies.
Paul says in 1 Timothy that, instead of raising angry voices or throwing the first punch, humility is the key to victory. He says that, instead of dressing in the cutest clothes or getting your eyebrows on fleek, being beautiful means doing hard, dirty, uncomfortable kingdom work.
Serving is winning. Praying is winning.
Humility is the key to victory.
I struggle with this so much, too. I believe the lies, thinking that my hair needs to be set perfectly in place, my body perfectly weighed and curved, my heart tough against people, and my words course.
The truth? Every time I try to fit into the mold of what the world tells me to be, I feel even more empty than what I had before, and oftentimes, more ashamed.
Following the world is accepting defeat, but following Christ is joining in on the victory that He already has!
Christ says that the meek will inherit the earth. Christ says that the obedient will gain new life. Christ says that the Kingdom-builders and the servants are the most beautiful of all.
And, friend, following Christ is the most satisfying, fulfilling, thing you can do. It beats the world tenfold.
Jesus is asking you to let go of the lies you've believed and follow the Truth.
What lies have you believed? What are you chasing that isn't meant for you to chase? What are you trying to prove? Does looking beautiful leave you as fulfilled as the world says it will? Does hardening your heart and raising your fists give you the happiness that you crave?
Think about these questions, pray about them. Maybe even journal about them.
What lies have you believed?
Lord, thank you for coming down to earth and sacrificing yourself so that I may live in Truth. Thank you for providing for me and filling me up with your Spirit so I can finally let go of the world. Forgive me for constantly chasing the world. Forgive me for believing the lies. Help me chase the Truth, live for Truth, and build my life on Truth. I ask that you free me from the desire to prove myself and be somebody. Please fill my life with Truth. I want to follow you. Help me do it. In Jesus' name, Amen.