Summary: This message explores the God given desire to be beautiful. Inspired by "The Seven Longings of the Human Heart" by Mike Bickle.
(“Beautiful” Music Video by Christina Aguilera)
In her song, appropriately titled “Beautiful”, Christina Aguilera sings all the right words:
Now and then, I get insecure
From all the pain, I’m so ashamed
But I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring me down
In fact, the second verse does a great job describing a struggle so many people face:
To all your friends, you’re delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The piece is gone left the puzzle undone
That’s the way it is
Yet then again, she attempts to convince us, and maybe even herself, of her point:
You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring you down
Don’t you bring me down today.
But I gotta say, and I grew up with three sisters. I have a wife and daughter. We have three different hair conditioners in our shower. I get that women like to change their hair color, and try different looks from time to time. And maybe that doesn’t mean they are obsessed with outer beauty, or that they find their identity in their external appearance.
But when I look at the drastic transformations of Christina Aguilera through the years. I’m not sure that she has convinced herself of her own words. I’m not sure that she truly is able to block out the words of those around her, and simply buy that she is beautiful.
In fact, she looks more like someone stuck in verse two – trying hard to fill the emptiness, with a puzzle piece missing and leaving things undone. She strikes me as someone experiencing the results of attempting to fulfill an internal longing through a source other than God.
There are just 35 more shopping days until Christmas. Black Friday is this week. Have you figured out what you are wanting yet? What you truly desire in your life?
A great deal of shopping time and energy will be expended this year, like every year, on the pursuit of beauty. The longing to be beautiful. Each year there are more than $8 billion of cosmetics sold in the United States. Compare that to the annual expenditure in our country for basic child education at $6 billion.
We spend $2 billion more dollars every year trying to look beautiful on the outside than we do trying to educate the inner minds of our children. And we spend even more trying to smell beautiful. The US and Europe combine each year for $12 billion in perfume sales. Do you even realize how many zeros that is? $12 billion!
Some of us get even more drastic in the pursuit of this longing of our heart. Each year there are 3.5 million cosmetic surgery procedures completed. And less we wonder who this longing may tug at more. 700,000 of those surgeries are done on men. The other 2.8 million on women.
But men have this same longing. It might be labeled differently. In my life it has taken on many labels. The longing to be “cool”, “hip”, “rad”, “sick”, “bad”, “righteous.” My gosh, in 38 years this longing for men has been called so many things, I can’t even figure out which one it is now.