Who are you? Though your first inclination might be to tell me about your job, the people who surround you, and your personality and character, I venture to say that you may not realize what your own mind claims as “you”. It is likely that unwittingly you may really think of yourself based on your physical body. Focus on your body has been drilled into you from the time you could first understand what people were saying. Comments about how cute or not cute you were, conversations around you that addressed the physical characteristics of others, your own first thoughts as you would observe the physical characteristics of others and yourself… all of these built into you a false reality that you are your body. The truth is, you are not your body at all.
Your body could be compared to a vehicle. Though a vehicle carries you around, you are not the vehicle, it is merely your mode of transportation. One person may get to his job on a subway train, another in her beat up old Chevy, and another in a nice new Lexus. But they all get to work, and their vehicles don’t accompany them into the building. Likewise, some people go through life in a “luxury” body, others in a broken body, or a plain one, or a fancy one, but they all get to a point when they give up their mode of transportation and end at their destination.
All too often, though, we let our vehicles, our bodies, define us. Or even more, we let the assessment others have made about our bodies determine who we think we are. Many years ago I knew a young lady who had nothing outstanding to note about her body, but she was absolutely beautiful. She was full of joy and was a delight to be around as she was always optimistic and inspiring to those with whom she came into contact. It was apparent that she was not her body. She had not let it define her.
God gave each of us the vehicle we go through life in, and the lack of importance He gives to physical attributes in the Bible tells me it is not considered when He thinks of who we are. Even His own son is described as having no physically attracting attributes (Isaiah 53:2). When Samuel was looking for the next king for Israel, God had chosen one who didn’t have the physical characteristics one might associate with a king, though there were others around who looked the part. In 1 Samuel 16:7 God tells Samuel that men look at the outside, but God looks at the heart.
So what am I getting at? Just this: Be a good steward of your mode of transportation so that it will serve you well (in other words, take care of your body), but recognize that you are not the reflection you see in the mirror. When you learn to focus on and cultivate the only you, the one inside your body, others who know you will no longer define you by your body, either. A beautiful person is a drawing force. Like my friend from long ago, others enjoyed her and wanted to be around her. She was (and I am sure still is) beautiful.