Q: Even though God accepts me as I am, the world doesn’t. I work in the business world where overweight people are judged. How do I deal with this?
A: The woman who asked this question actually paraphrased 1 Samuel 16:7b: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Those of us who do not fit as well into society’s idea of “attractive” feel how painfully true it is that people do look at outward appearances. It’s no fun knowing that someone is looking down on you because you’re larger than the cultural ideal.
You cannot change the fact that people are not godly. A godly person would have the perspective God has, and you would be judged on the basis of your heart. As a Christian, your heart has been transformed by the regeneration of the Spirit, so you’re in great shape when it comes to “measuring up” by God’s standard.
Jesus received a ton of criticism. He was misjudged by the religious rulers and even by the common folk who had so recently lauded him as king, right before they chose Barabbas and demanded Jesus’ crucifixion. Peter tells us that through his experience with being unjustly judged, Jesus provided us with an example that we are able to follow when we are faced with ungodly and sinful judgments against us.
1 Peter 2:23: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
The phrase, “he entrusted himself,” actually carries the meaning of “he kept on entrusting himself.” When ungodly people harshly judge us for not meeting their standards of attractiveness, we can keep turning to a loving heavenly Father, who knows our hearts and does not condemn us for outward appearances. And we can keep entrusting ourselves to God’s care, knowing that even if we suffer because of the sin of others, He will transform that suffering into what will ultimately be for our good. After all, he transformed the very worst possible sin—nailing the most innocent man who ever lived to a cross—into the most beneficial event of history.
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