22 March 2011

Inferiority and Un-Ugly People

SO, I am walking out of Zoe's Kitchen the other night (I love their food, when I can afford it...yum) and almost run slam over a young lady.  We were coming in different directions, heading for the same door.  I fortunately caught myself before I plowed over her, or at the very least broke her toes as I clumsily tried to put on the breaks...hey, I need to lose a few pounds, ok?

Anyway, we kind of bumped shoulders and I almost dropped my tea.  This would've been much more upsetting to me than crushing her feet!  We both awkwardly said "Excuse me, " and made eye contact....


That said, this young lady was very, very, very, very, very, very NOT Ugly. (this type of verbiage is approved by my BEAUTIFUL WIFE!!!)  Get off my back and stop judging...

We, of course, pulled out and were heading the same way.  NOT STALKING!!  Her license tag said "2HOT4U."  I mean, this young lady would've been the envy of most women anywhere.  She truly "had it goin' on." I imagine when she walks in a room, all the other females immediately hate her.  Jealous of her.
So, where's the twist?

It's coming.

We came to a traffic light and stopped, her in front of me.  As we are waiting, I noticed she was doing something in her car.  She was checking herself out in the mirror and at this point, with the perfect smile, and overly-vain vanity plate, and the $40,000 car, I am getting sick of this girl.  But she was really looking hard in the mirror.  Like REALLY looking. Then I figured it out...






I mean, she was working on that thing.  It was a little impressive to see how she stayed after it.  For a good 30 seconds, she was squeezing and poking and rubbing....ok:  It was gross.

There are so many uses for this analogy.  And this is much more uncivilized than I usually aspire to be...but here's what came to mind:

1. God can see EVERYTHING
2. Man looks on the Outward
3. Others are Always Watching (not in a creepy way)
4. Most Vanity Plates are Stupid
5. Windows are Transparent

I mean, so many ways to go with this....

Sunday morning at worship, I thought about how this applied to me.  Maybe this is what it could mean to you, too.

As I sit there every week in corporate worship, I always feel a little out of place.  My khaki pants or jeans are either from Walmart or an outlet store.  My shirts are usually old and a little worn.  Faded.  My shoes are definitely old and wearing out fast...and that's just the outward....

I just feel like I don't have it all together.

Ever feel that way?

In my mind's eye, I am an extension of my attire.  Kind of 2nd rate.  Used.  A little worn. 

But I look around me and see guys whose clothes fit like a tailor dressed them that morning.  Their hair looks perfect.  Their slacks don't have pen stains on them.  Their shoes actually shine!  And I guarantee they wouldn't be caught dead with a sap-produced yellow bumper.

They are the "non-ugly" girl.  Striking.  Put together.  Sharp.

And while this may not be an encouragement to many people, I hope that just one other person who needs to read this "gets it."

Those people, the ones who may intimidate you, or make you insecure...have zits, too.

While this sounds like I am celebrating the fact that no one is perfect...ok, well, I guess I am.

It is a strange comfort to realize that all of those people who look like they have it all together---don't.
Everyone who looks perfect--isn't.
The guy who I think has it all--doesn't.
Families that look like they don't have a care in the world--they do.

It's not their fault that I feel this way...It is my own insecurity I fight.  I am not villifying them, but the fact remains that they are just as flawed as I am.  Yes...


And THAT is where my worth lies.

I realize that this post is not for everyone.  It may be only for me.  But if there is anyone out there who feels like a 2nd or 3rd class citizen at times, you are NOT.  JESUS CHRIST died for you just as much as He died for ANYONE.  You aren't 2nd rate.  You aren't USED.  You aren't too worn.  

Let's stop buying this line of garbage that satan is selling us. 

It has robbed me of my joy before and that ultimately leads to a feeling of worthlessness.  And if I feel worthless, how can I serve?  "How could God use me when there are so many people who have it all together out there He can use, " I've thought.
Man, how foolish I have been.

Basically, I have judged myself as unfit....Thankfully, we have a Father who does NOT discriminate. 

WE do that to ourselves.

Yellow Bumper, Pit-Stained Shirt, Holey Socks, Zits and all!



    THIS REPLY WILL OFFEND MOST PRETTY PEOPLE (well, at least the few that can actually read)

    since i have always been somewhere between normal looking and ugly, i've actually looked down on good looking people. my parents taught me that spirituality is the only thing that really matters. I saw them befriend the most hideous, smelly people in the world in the name of Jesus. Anyone who had it all together rarely made a 2nd visit to our church.

    therefore, i acquired an unbalanced and very negative view for anyone who appeared successful or attractive. when i saw them, something like this usually ran through my head: "They probably spend the entire morning in front of the mirror and care more about their looks than anything in life. They are such a rotten piece of crap. Oh well, I guess they've traded eternity with God for temporary self-assurance regarding their looks." While I didn't think this word-for-word, it was the general nature of my thoughts. In a sense, I felt pity for them.

    Of course, being the semi-mature Christian that I am, I know that this was un-Christlike and probably rooted in my own jealousy. One's outward appearance is in no way directly related to their eternal destiny. However, if one is truly self-obsessed [not that every attractive person is], then it reflects an unsurrendered heart b/c no man can serve two masters.

    I don't find myself falling into the same trap as you; but rather, I actually fall into the trap of thinking i have it all together and attractive people don’t. I know it sounds weird, but it is nothing more than a result of pride and a twisted understanding of eternal values. Certainly, God looks on the heart more than the outward appearance; however, God never suggested that outward appearance would become a means by which to judge someone's heart. EXCEPTIONS: When a woman dresses provocatively for the sole purpose of attracting undue male attention, then her appearance does reflect her heart. When a teenager specifically wears something that their parents asked them not to wear, then their appearance reflects their heart. When one purposefully dresses in such a way to attract attention to themselves [whether it is immoral or not], then their appearance reflects their heart. However, these examples relate more to dress.

    so are people who are born attractive [by our 21st century western civilization standards] more or less spiritual? do attractive people need to mask their attractiveness so as to restrict others from paying too much attention to themselves? do unattractive people need to spend lots of time, money and effort to appear attractive? do such efforts displease God who made us the way we are? how much effort to appear attractive is appropriate without stepping over into the territory of self-obsession? are white guys with afros hot? i'm not sure if i can answer any of these questions, but i do know a few things...

    1) God wants us to love people [including ourselves] regardless of personal appearance.

    2) God doesn't want us to give preferential treatment or discriminate based on outward appearances.

    4) God is not pleased when we worship ourselves and always want the praise of others.

    5) This world is obsessed with outward appearances in a very unhealthy way and believers guard against this in their own lives.

    6) The philosophy, "If you got it, flaunt it!" doesn't jive well with the humility of Christ.

    7) Everyone's outward appearance is going to get old, ugly, and eventually return to dust.

    8) Pretty girls are usually dumb and a waste of space. Okay, that isn't really true, but it makes me feel better when they ignore me. Whores!

    10) Finally, everyone's poop smells the same.

    Btw, great post. The zit part caught me off guard. and the overall analogy was well put. God does love me, ugly afro and all.

  2. Yet another insightful post! Two things come to mind...

    1. I was watching a TV in a coffee shop where we ate dinner tonight (we're on a short vacation) and noticed the news about Elizabeth Taylor. That made me think of Joey's #7 above. As someone well on her way to dust, I can verify that our external appearance is definitely transitory! If I started obsessing about the gray hairs and wrinkles, I wouldn't have time to focus on anything else.

    2. I was dumbfounded to discover recently that a relative of ours wants to know "how we manage to have our live so together." At the time I was in the midst of yet another challenge and feeling far from "barely adequate," much less "together." It just goes to show that you never really know what a person's life is like until you live it with them.

  3. I agree with what you said, but I did drive by a Lamborghini this past Sunday and that thing was pretty sweet. I'm sure God would love me more in a Lamborghini, all I need to do is convince him of that.

  4. I thought this was really interesting. I by no means have it all or all together. I get jealous of those people who do, which I know I shouldn't do.
    I usually get jealous of people with beautiful minds, those that are so smart and write well and ... you know, know stuff! I bet they have bad habits, like I do and say things they regret, like I've done, and, you get the picture.
    He died for me, and would have done it if I were the only one, because I'm not what I think of myself in my worst moments.