Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility– 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace Daniel 1:3-4
I was naïve enough to think that today’s culture is the only one that placed such a high price on physical appearances. However, the Israelites over 2600 years ago were under the same pressure. During Daniel’s time, in our scripture verse above, we see the criteria used to select young men for training for future work in the king’s quarters. Can you imagine knowing that the King has requested specific orders for young men with these qualities? Imagine how you would feel not being selected?
Women, men, teenagers and now even young children are being judged and selected for certain jobs and opportunities based on physical appearance. Not so long ago I was watching the pilot of a new show called Pan Am (the former airlines) and each flight attendant was weighed and physically inspected on a weekly basis. If she did not meet the weight guidelines then she would lose her job! It was all about her physical appearance.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love to wear “nice” things and look my best however, what I am asking for you to reflect on is “what is the value that we are placing on this in our own lives?” Beth Moore tells us in the study of the book of Daniel “Whether or not we are conscious of it, you and I are daily being indoctrinated and “trained” by our culture.” Are we allowing the enemy to fill our minds with “we don’t look good enough, we are not smart enough or even weigh the “ideal” weight? Are we allowing him to take up space in our minds and self-esteem?
Here are some things that today’s culture places a great premium on:
- Staying Young
- Appearance is everything
- Smarter is better
- Social Status matters
A few months ago I watched the movie The Help and can’t help but be reminded what Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), kept telling the little girl that she took care of. She would remind her “You is kind, You is smart, You is intelligent and I have added, “You is beautiful”. As women raising little girls and being part of young women’s lives we need to remind them against what society thinks and wants us to believe.
Ladies, we need to stand together and not only encourage one another intellectually but also in our beauty and value. Women can be caddy and size each other up but let’s stand up and break that cycle. As the holiday’s approach us be sure to remind the women in your life how important and beautiful they are just how they are today!!!!
And remember…Just Breathe!!!
1.) What is the one thing that you don’t like about yourself?
2.) What can you do today to feel better about yourself and accept and more importantly love the way you are?
3.) Today I challenge you to encourage a sister and remind her what amazing qualities she has!