Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. romans 12:21
I thought about using a “selfie” as the picture for this blog, but it made me too uncomfortable. A straight on selfie makes my face look bloated. A picture taken from the top looking down highlights my thinning hair. The opposite angle, bottom looking up, shows the fat under my chin. Plus, I’ve learned from experience, I look better the farther I am from the camera.
Instead, I decided to post pictures of my wife and my daughter – two of the most beautiful people in my life. (The only reason Peter is not included, I couldn’t find a picture of him to fit with these two images.) Their smiles radiate joy. When I look at these pictures it brings me an overwhelming sense of calm. I feel blessed to have such beautiful people in my life.
They would never give me permission to post these pictures. So I did it without their knowledge. If I had asked for permission they would only have tried to convince me these images show their flaws. They would go into great detail about flaws so small the average eye cannot perceive them. I cannot see the flaws through the radiance of their smiles.
Eventually, they would bring me down. I could never be convinced they were anything less than beautiful. But I would be depressed by their inability to see their own beauty and the joy it brings me.
You may be thinking to yourself, how is this different from the reasons I gave for not posting a “selfie”? Welcome to the pool of hypocrisy I force my family to swim in. There is no difference, it is just easier to see it in them than myself.
We all have difficultly seeing our own beauty and no problem identifying our long list of flaws. To me, there is something inherently evil about this trait. Not only does it defy the will of God who declared our creation very good (Gen. 1:31). It makes us vulnerable to those who try to control us by manipulating our weaknesses.
Our own words carry no weight when we try to convince ourselves we are beautiful. We need the words of others to remind us God was right, we are very good and beautiful. Good words to others do more than stroke egos. They proclaim the greatness of God. It makes me think of the old hymn, All Things Bright and Beautiful.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Each day we are presented with the option to either be overcome by evil, or overcome evil with good. Will we allow weaknesses to be magnified or beauty to be proclaimed? More often than not, the words we share with others dictate this for us. This Thanksgiving overcome evil with good by telling someone that you are thankful for their beauty.