Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from best-selling author Lisa Bevere’s book, You Are Not What You Weigh: End Your War with Food and Discover Your True Value.
If Jesus is the express image of the truth, then what is the express image of the lie? Jut as truth needs an image for expression, power and validation, so the list must have an image or it remains powerless.
Actually, we are made painfully and constantly aware of this image of the lie. It is everywhere we even happen to glance. It is projected on television and at the movies, on billboards, and splashed across magazine covers and assorted catalogs. Most of us encounter it daily on one level or another. It is the image built by multitudes of advertising and media experts who feed off our cultural external influences. It is the image of this present culture’s ideal woman. In her self, she is nothing; it is what she represents that endangers us.
There are multiple portrayals of her. She is presented to all ethnic groups. She is a woman, perfectly at ease with her self. She moves freely in any setting. She is adored by men and envied by women. All other women are harshly and unfavorably compared with this nameless woman. She never ages; behind her façade of perfection she mocks and makes note of every flaw and imperfection of others.
Her skin is flawless in tone and complexion. Her nose is straight—not too small or too large. Her eyes are bright and lack any dark shadows, circles or lines around them. They are encased in luminous, wrinkle-free skin. Her lips are full and artfully shaped. Her teeth are perfect and gleaming white. Her hair is whatever ours is not.
Her body is perfectly proportioned and sits atop long, strong legs. Her breasts never age (or nurse)! All too often they are not even real. She is either taller or shorter than us—the perfect height!
This image is never what we are and is always just beyond our reach, taunting us with her seductive eyes. Who is she anyway/
Her name doesn’t really matter; she is not real. She is an image molded and forged by the spirit of the world. What she doesn’t have, plastic surgery readily supplies. Even this computer generation will not tolerate any imperfection in her—it reduces her thighs and clinches her waist while sweeping away any sign of imperfection in her skin. She is a deaf, dumb and blind idol.
Though we know she is not real, young girls and older women look at her in awe. The young are inspired, and the older are depressed.
Why would someone we have never met be able to influence us so profoundly? Because we have not allowed the imprint of God to influence us as deeply as she has influenced us. Without a definitive raising of His standard, we have accepted the seductive, graven image of the world.
“The fashioners of an image—all of them are emptiness, and the things they delight in cannot profit.” (Isaiah 44:9, RHM)
To fashion something is to make, model, form or manufacture. In the Bible, the words image and idol are use interchangeably with the exception of two references. Therefore, we could go into the above scripture and bring it forward into today’s terms. Then it would read:
The fashioned idol, modeled idol, or fashion image—all of them are empty and lifeless. What they value and prize cannot profit or help you.
Isaiah tell us in the second part of this verse why this is so: “For their ideals neither see nor know. No wonder those who worship them are so ashamed” (TLB). The ancient idols or graven images were forged by craftsmen who made them out of wood or stone. Sometimes, they were overlaid with precious metals or costly jewels. But, they were never more than lifeless—dead—wood or stone. No matter how dressed up they were on the outside, they had no life on the inside. …
When we worship the works of our hands or the works of the flesh, we are worshiping images of the creation and not the Creator. Let’s go into the New Testament to find how this could be relevant today:
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
They knew there was a Creator God, but they did not want to glorify Him or acknowledge His provision by thanking Him. They turned their eyes from God and began to worship images. Soon their hearts became like the idols they worshiped—void of light and futile. This parallels Isaiah’s description of useless idols.
The image you behold is the image you become—not outwardly but inwardly…
As Christians, it is important to determine whether we are serving an image of God or God Himself. There are three options:
- Unwittingly, we may fashion or mold our own image to serve.
- We may bow to the one our culture readily provides.
- We may cry out to God and ask Him to reveal Himself (and in response, we worship Him).
There are multitudes of books offering outward information—diet plans, exercise regimens, self-improvement suggestions for your makeup or wardrobe. This book is not one of those. Whatever God does in your life, this will last. The time is short, and this message is urgent. God is calling us to radical transformation.
You’ve known the lie; you’ve been introduced to the truth. Now it’s time to be honest. What image are you serving?
Lisa Bevere is a best-selling author of Fight Like a Girl, Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry, Out of Control and Loving It! And be Angry and Don’t Blow It! In addition to speaking at national and international conferences, she is a frequent guest on Christian television and radio shows. She and her husband, best-selling author John Bevere, make their home in Colorado.