Look younger in a week, fairer skin in just 10 days, grow taller and smarter sooner. These advertisements are often flashed every now and then where ever we go on television, hoardings on the streets or are flashed on websites that we surf. They all are telling us about how we can be better than what we already are.
I see this as a growing crisis of our times. We are just not happy with the way we are. If we are fat, we want to be thin. If we are thin, we want to be fat. The dark want to be fair and the fair want to get a tan. The tall wants to be a little shorter and the short wants to get taller etc. I will confess, even though I write this, I am a victim of this crisis myself.
I was recently diagnosed with a skin infection that left some scars and boils on my face. The first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘Oh God I look so ugly, nobody will like me.‘ It seemed strange for me to hear myself tell these words because I would often go around telling youth and people about how to accept themselves and know that God loves them etc, but here was I, a victim to the same problem. So what really is the problem here?
I remember a story my Spiritual Director told me once. A group of kids were very excited to see the balloon man arrive in their colony. All of them ran to him and picked up balloons as per their liking. It was no surprise that the colorful ones were sold first. The only balloon left was a black balloon. Nobody wanted it because of its color and how unattractive it looked to them compared to the other balloons. A small dark skinned boy with much hesitation came and asked the balloon man if he could have the black balloon as it was the only one left. He took the balloon and when the kids decided to release it in the air, to everyone’s surprise they saw the black balloon fly away easily and highest in the sky. To this the balloon man remarked,
“It is not the outside that matters but the inside that will let you fly high.”
We are so bothered about the outside, that in most instances we are lost and ignorant about what is happening in our heart. I am not just saying about our looks and physical features, but also with regard to our spiritual life.
Let us take the story of the woman caught in adultery in the scriptures. The elders brought this woman who was caught in the act of adultery before Jesus and wanted to punish her. They saw the DOING of the woman and it was unacceptable as per their law. Jesus on the other hand was seeing the BEING of the woman and knew that she is valuable in the sight of God. The outside of the woman was her doing, but the inside of the woman was her being.
We are so focused on the doing in our life that we forget to focus on our being. We may have done sinful things, things that are considered evil but yet at our being we are still children of God. Our identity is secured in him and not in the things we do. That does not mean I can do things as per my choice because I am secured in my being. If we are aware of our real identity, then we will respond in action in a similar way. This principle will also help us in our dealings with others. If we are able to separate the DOING from the BEING of the person, we realize that doing can be changed and improved. It is the being that matters to God. Most of the time, what upsets us about the other is their doing.
Externally we may look perfect, have the best skin, perfect weight and height, looks of a top model and yet if at the level of our being we are not in union with God, then it is all in vain. Like the scripture says – what good is it for a man to win the whole world but to lose his soul? God today is inviting us to really check where have we placed our heart? To whom does our being belong? If we realize that our being is identified as a child of God, my doing will reflect it just like in the case of the adulteress. Once Jesus helped her notice her being as loved by God, she repented and changed her ways.
What am I waiting for? The only product I need is that which will help me reduce the sinfulness of my life and bring forth the shinning attractive glory of God. The best news is that, the product is called GRACE and it is already yours. All you need to do is get down on your knees and ask God. Special offer – Be grace filled in a second.