Who/what am I? As far as questions go, they don’t get much simpler than that. I am Aaron Hall, I’m a thirty-five year old man who lives in Texas. But the more you really ponder that question, the more complex it becomes. Because I’m also defined by my faith, so who I am is a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. That’s important to know about me. I’m a writer, that’s part of what/who I am. A son, brother, uncle, friend, those all factor in. Digging deeper, I feel like I’m an encourager. I think I’m a good listener, those are things that define me. And if you’ll notice, all of these things I’m listing are positive, right? Because it’s not as much fun to talk about the negative things that define us.
I’m lazy, I think my mom would confirm that one for you. I work on it, and I think I’m at a point in life where I’m the least lazy I’ve ever been, but I’m still lazy. I’m also uncomfortable in my own skin. I oftentimes lack confidence. A lot of that comes from being overweight, which is another negative thing that I am. Anytime I focus on my appearance, my mood dips. I don’t get depressed over it, but if I’m focusing on it I don’t exactly feel happy. When it’s really in my face, maybe like a wall of mirrors or if I have an ill-fitting shirt on, it can really dash my happiness and bottom out my confidence. I think most people understand these feelings, as body image issues are a pretty common thing that a lot of you probably deal with or have dealt with as well. The most negative part of who/what I am is sin, though. I’m a sinner. That’s part of who I am. I’m someone that doesn’t always live up to the commandments of my Lord.
I had a long day today, and for the first time in a long time I felt a little down. Not a lot down, just a touch of melancholy. As I was in that place and feeling that way, I felt God telling me something and I strongly felt that He was telling me to make sure I share it with others. The thing that he told me is this. You’re beautiful. As I took this to the Bible, I feel like I found some really compelling evidence as to the beauty of you and I. I wanted to share that with you guys.
God’s beautiful, right? If you even know a tiny bit about Him, I think you’d have to agree with my statement. He’s not just beautiful, He is beauty. The Bible describes Him as the embodiment of love and of light. He’s beauty. Guess what He modeled us after when He made us?
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
If He’s beautiful, and we’re made in His image, then what are we? We’re beautiful.
You know a few weeks back I talked about God being the master craftsman, this unparalleled creator. Check this out.
Psalm 147:4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
The stars present in space aren’t random. God not only determined how many are out there, but He named them all. That’s like the coolest thing ever. Every star you see in the sky right now has a God given name. That’s so cool. That’s a master creator at work. Wanna know another of His great creations?
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Another Bible translation uses the word handiwork instead of workmanship, but either way, I’m just so moved. We talked about God’s masterpieces a few weeks back. Go look in the mirror right now, and when you look at it tell yourself this. I am one of God’s masterpieces.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
So this might be a little weird, but follow me on this next thing. Think of yourself, inside and out, as a car. God’s handed each of us a top of the line, incredible car. Remember when I talked about sin earlier? That’s us, dirtying up this beautiful precision machine that God blessed us with. We let sin weigh us down and we let it start to take over our identity. We get so much mud and gunk all over our beautiful car and inside our beautiful car that it’s hard to see through to the beauty underneath. Instead of being defined as a beautiful car, we start defining it as a flawed car, as a dirty car.
Now, let’s talk about real cars for a second here. Stick with me, I promise it’s going somewhere. When your car gets dirty or muddy, do you throw it in the trash? If they’re building this beautiful new car at the factory but someone spills a drink on it as it comes off the assembly line, do they just roll it right into the dumpster? Is it a worthless thing because it’s dirty? Of course not, that’s ridiculous. They know that a little dirt or mud or gunk doesn’t mean there isn’t still beauty present. It just means the car needs to be washed.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
I don’t care how much sin you’re carrying around, you haven’t ruined yourself. It doesn’t matter what messes you’ve made, because there is a method of washing and cleansing that can clean anything and restore it to that brand new state. Because of the cleansing blood of Jesus, God sees through the gunk and the junk and the mess and the sin and He sees you. He sees that beautiful creation that He labored over and designed and assigned purposes to and brought into this world. Today, God wants you to know that you’re beautiful.
Do you know what feels awesome? Taking a dirty car through the car wash. If sin in your life is weighing you down, if you’re starting to identify yourself more by all the dirt and less by the beauty underneath, take it to Jesus. He paid a steep price so that we could be cleansed, and the only cost to claiming that incredible gift is to step forward in belief and faith and claim it. Acknowledge your sin, repent of it, and just accept the cleansing power of His goodness and love. Start seeing yourself as He sees you, as a wonderfully made piece of His workmanship, something created in His beautiful image.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, today I just thank you for your encouragement. You’re never far from me, and you always know the right thing to say. You are the master encourager. Thank you that you imparted beauty to us when you created us. Thank you that when we let sin dirty us up you made a way for us to be washed clean, made a way for the beauty to still shine. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice. You did it so I could be washed clean. What a choice you made, to put us before your own life, to put us above your suffering and agony. Lord, I pray right now that you’ll help us with body image issues. Give us comfort, give us the confidence that’s not based on appearance but based on your presence in our lives. And God, give me wisdom and motivation to stay dedicated to getting healthier and losing weight. For some reason I never pray about that, so right now I just put it at your feet. You’ve brought me so far in my physical healing this year, and I just ask that you’ll help me stay motivated to continue on this journey towards physical fitness and overall health. I need your help to do it, God, because you know I’m lazy and now that I have a good paying job I’m going to want to eat out constantly. Give me wisdom and self control, Lord. And I really wish I’d prayed this prayer in private, but you know Lord, I love you and this is on my heart, so I guess we’re just tossing this one out there onto the internet for the whole world to see. And that’s okay, because you love me God, and you went out of your way to tell me what you think of me today. I’m beautiful because you say I am. And I am forever devoted to you, Almighty King Jesus, the cleanser of our sins. I thank you so much for all that you are, I thank you so much for all that you do. Draw people to you this week, Lord, give them opportunities to move deeper in their faith and deeper into a relationship with you. I pray all these things in the precious name of Jesus, amen.
Well, I’m exhausted friends. Hear what God is saying about you in His word. You are His child, and He loves His children with a wild love that surpasses our understanding. Rest in that truth tonight.