Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man. Proverbs 27:20
Have you ever heard of Narcissus? In Greek mythology, Narcissus was known for his beauty. In fact, he was so beautiful, that he made enemies. One of these enemies, Nemesis, led Narcissus to a pool of water. Narcissus fell in love with what he saw; not realizing it was a reflection of him. Because he was unwilling to leave the reflection…he died there.
I must admit, in the depths of my eating disorder, I was like Narcissus. No, I did not consider myself beautiful by any means, but I did stare at my reflection searching for beauty. Most women, whether they have an eating disorder or not, can identify with this, but the mirror for those of us who struggle takes on a life of its own, does it not?
For us, the mirror can be the place where we run daily to assess our bodies, and in turn ourselves. We stare in the mirror, not realizing that it is only a mere reflection (and not an accurate one at that) of us. Despite the fact that our bodies do NOT make up the whole of who we are, we somehow get drawn, lured to the mirror to find ourselves there. I don’t know about you, but like Narcissus, led to the mirror by my Nemesis (ED) I was unable to “leave” my reflection. Even when I wasn’t standing in front of the mirror, I carried around what I saw….disappointed and dissatisfied. Like today’s scripture says, “Death and destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.” My dissatisfaction with my reflection caused me to do destructive things…things that were leading me toward death.
Maybe you stay away from the mirror for fear of what you will see. Knowing your eyes will not be satisfied with your reflection, you avoid mirrors at all costs. But that is still placing too much power in the reflection. When we mistakenly believe Satan’s lie that our beauty is based solely on our outward appearance, we fall into the trap he has set for us. The eating disorder is never satisfied with your body and Satan is never satisfied with your spirit. Because Satan knows our need to feel beautiful, if we believe and become focused on our bodies as the source of our beauty, we are getting off track…exactly where he wants us. As we walk around the world looking through “eyes of man”, we are never satisfied, there is always someone more beautiful, and there is always something else to be changed about ourselves. We become so focused on the destruction and death of what the world has told us is “bad” about our bodies, that we fail to take care of our bodies and spirits the way God, our Creator, intended.
If we are going to recover, it is time to “STOP” staring at the (wo)man in the mirror! This doesn’t mean of course that we have to stop USING mirrors, but we do not need to spend time and time again standing, turning, analyzing what is in the mirror. We also do not need to avoid mirrors; but we need to keep what we see in proper perspective. That image we see isn’t everything nor is it the ONLY thing! If we are seeking to find our image, there is only one place that gives us an accurate reflection—in the EYES and HEART of God. He is our creator, He is our standard of beauty, He IS beauty, and only when His image is reflected in us will we see true and lasting beauty in ourselves.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3: 17-18
BREATHING IN (Bible Study)
- Look up and read in your own Bible 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
- What does this verse say to you? Do you need “freedom” to look in the mirror? How can looking through the eyes of the Holy Spirit give you that freedom? What would this freedom “look” like or “feel” like to you?
- The passage also talks about “unveiled faces”. What mask are you wearing…or trying to make fit? What would it mean for you to lose the veil? What would it take for you to lose it?
- How do you respond to these statements? God defines beauty. God creates beauty. God is beauty. (Next week we will look at these ideas in more detail, but start thinking about them now!)
- Psalm 45:11 says, “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” God is ALREADY enthralled with your beauty as His creation, as His child. Write this verse down and place it wherever there is a mirror you use. When you are looking in the mirror, “reflect” on His love of you and how His eyes see your beauty. How does this intentional reflecting, change how you “see” what is in the mirror?
BREATHING OUT (Prayer)
When I look at myself in the mirror, I do not always love what I see. Sometimes I even hate it. I know that this is not what you intend for me, this dissatisfaction. I want to stop destroying my body in the quest to find beauty in the mirror. I know as long as I my eyes are focused here I will never be satisfied. Please call me, Lord. Turn my eyes toward You, and You alone. In your word I read, “The perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance.” Lord, I want to reflect this radiance. I want to mirror your perfect beauty to the world instead of trying to mirror the world’s imperfect, unattainable beauty. Teach me more about You so I can learn more about me as a reflection of you. Let me gaze on you and find my beauty there…in the image of Your Beauty. Amen.