Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked yourself questions like these?
Why was I born with (an unchangeable physical quality or imperfection)?
God, what were you thinking when You made me?
Why am I even here on this planet?
If I could change one thing about my physical appearance, it would be: .
You’re not alone. Most people, including believers, feel like they have at least one physical characteristic that they cannot change but wish with all their might that they could. Those who are motivated enough and can afford it, often change that detested characteristic.
Many qualities that used to be in the “unchangeable” category can now be changed through cosmetic surgery. More people than ever (mostly women) are changing varicose veins, ears, lips, noses, boobs, and behinds. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that just last year, Americans spent over $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgeries. This doesn’t include the millions spent on gender reassignments every year.
Many who cannot afford the surgeries, or for whom physical characteristics like height, skin color, or ethnic features have no permanent change solution, have questioned why they were forced to have these qualities.
They see how people are treated who have the characteristics they do and feel inferior. They envy those who don’t have the despised quality. Sometimes they become defensive or angry. Then they reject these qualities and get mad at God.
They’re essentially saying, “If You’re such a wise and loving God, why did you make me this way? You ruined my life. You see how others are toward people like me. If this is how You made me, I can’t trust You to run the rest of my life.”
That rejection of self and God’s sovereignty generally permeate other areas of a person’s life such as their single status, family history, medical conditions, or ethnic identity.
Yet accepting ourselves without becoming proud is key to our success in this life.
That’s because accepting ourselves demonstrates that we accept God’s sovereignty as Creator, Owner, and Lord. And He is our connection and key to life, love, and successful living.
You see, when we, as sinful creatures, became followers of Jesus, we entered into an agreement with the holy, eternal Creator God of the universe. We agreed that He was perfect, righteous, and sovereign, and we were not.
He then forgave us all our imperfections and sins. He put His Holy Spirit inside of us as proof of His faithfulness and our allegiance. He recreated and restored us.
At that moment of conversion, we surrendered from our way of thinking and living to adopt a foreign but truthful, righteous, and non-negotiable acceptance of some basic beliefs. Part of those non-negotiable beliefs include God’s sovereignty, the authority of God’s Word, and our identity in Christ.
The opposite of acceptance is rebellion, and God says that rebellion is as bad as the occult, something that we are strongly urged to stay away from:
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
So because you have rejected the command of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:22b-23 NLT
When we as believers fuss and rebel against the directives and creative genius of the God we say we belong to, and since we have already been exposed to His goodness and blessing, we have more to lose: fellowship, guidance, blessing, life, love, endurance, joy, providence, and more. We make poor choices and become vulnerable to the same demonic influences as the occult does.
It’s better for us to accept His rule over our lives and ask God lots of questions along the way. He invites our questions.
Accepting the sovereignty of God in how He formed you doesn’t mean you can’t change some things about yourself that you don’t like, especially non-permanent qualities that can be changed. If, for instance, you have become overweight through emotional eating and a lack of self-control, address that with Him and work on developing healthy habits (see my Healthy Habits for Singles series at singlematters.com for more insights!).
Accepting His sovereignty also does not mean you must accept injustices or poor treatment. God is unlimited in how He works to release spiritual, emotional, and literal prisoners all around the world. Don’t just start working from your emotions; consult the Lord as to how to be freed to thrive.
My friend, there is a freedom and peace in self-acceptance that cannot be derived any other way. If you don’t have it, I pray that you will find that freedom and peace.