1st April 2019

Appearances

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)

Today this study is for those born after 1990. The first generation to grow up in the age of social media. You also face unique pressures as a result. Teenagers have always been concerned about their appearance and their relationships. In the social media age these concerns are highlighted in a way that can damage mental and emotional health if you are not careful.

We are fed a false image of what beauty is and false values about appearance. You can get sucked into a system which gets you focused on what is wrong with you, looking in-ward, rather than valuing yourself for what you are. The entertainment and media industries bombard you with images of people with perfect hair, figures and wearing immaculate clothes and shoes. You can so easily be taken in by what is a false image. Most of these people spend hours in the gym, employ professional make up artists and hair stylists, even people who advise them on what to wear. They are desperate to conform to society’s image of perfection in their appearance, but you should not be! If you measure your looks against them you are going to be dissatisfied and unhappy. It is a totally wrong value, but people more and more judge on appearances, on whether you are wearing the right label T shirt, dress, trainers or shoes. It is utter and complete nonsense, but you can’t avoid being affected by it to a greater or lesser extent. For a young millennial today it is very difficult to avoid feeling that you must be perfect and, if not, you are a failure.

So what is the answer, how do you avoid this trap? The first step is to recognise the standard by which you should judge your looks and appearance. You are a unique human being and your real beauty comes not from your outward appearance or what you wear, but from your character, your personality and because you are a child of God. Jesus taught that you should love your neighbour as yourself—not more than yourself or less than yourself. But loving yourself is not about judging yourself by the false values of the entertainment and media industries.

Prayer
Loving Father, our young people are precious and they are the future. Please bless them with an understanding of true values and help them see through the false values of this material world. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick
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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com