I saw a video at church that Dove created as part of their ‘Choose Beautiful’ campaign last spring. At shopping malls in Delhi, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, and London, they placed signs above two adjacent doors, one marked “Beautiful” and the other marked “Average,” and then they filmed women deciding which door to walk through, which door they felt described them.
It’s a powerful video to watch, but the sermon that followed the video reminded us of a much bigger, more powerful story: Our pastor and friend, Dave Burden, suggested that how we see ourselves—what creates our identity—affects how and where we walk. How I view myself creates the launchpad from which I do all of life.
“Beautiful” can be a word that speaks beyond appearance and goes to the core of who God says I am. Beautiful can be about walking through the door of God’s love for me, squinting to see myself through his eyes, fighting against the devil’s schemes and lies about who I am or who I’m not, armed with the truth of who God says I am.
Romans 8:9-17 says that if God’s Spirit dwells in us, we
-“are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear”
-“are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ . . .”
I’m his child. He desired me and ransomed his son for me. And I’m an heir to a full and glorious kingdom. This is the tip of the iceberg of who God says I am. His word is chalked full of tender, unbelievably loving proclamations of who he says I am. And I am who he says I am. I’m not who other people say I am or even who I may feel I am or am not. And I am armed with God’s power to fight my way through the door that’s draped in the banner of his love for me, bypassing the door of slavery to fear and slavery to the lies of the accuser, which tell me I’m just average and tell me to compare myself to this person or that—shouting, “You’re not enough!”
As in the Dove video, where brave women pulled their friends and daughters through the Beautiful door with them and, in essence, said, “You are walking with me through this proclamation because, even when you don’t see beauty in yourself, I see it,” many days, we need someone to pull us alongside them and walk us through the truth that we are beloved, we are heirs, we are adopted daughters and sons and to say to us, “This is real. This is what’s true. This is who you are and what you were made for: You were made for God and his love for you. Walk in the truth of who you really are.”
Abba Father, would you teach us how to walk in the truth that our identity is what you say about us in your word? Would you walk us through the door of your love and truth when the songs of the world tell us we’re less-than? Would you fight for us as we strain to hear the song of love you are singing over us? Would you lead us headlong into your invitation to embrace who we are in you, to rest from the striving to be something or someone else? Would you help us believe we are beautiful to you?