The Beauty of Real

My husband and I got rid of cable TV almost as soon as the Roku hit the market. We have a lot of scorn for our previous provider, who charges outrageous rates because they are the only company in the area (yes, I live out in the country, but not quite as far out as you might think). Switching over to the Roku has been a blessing in more ways than one though. It’s helped the budget in a gigantic way. I’m talking cutting our bill by more than half. We also love that the shows we enjoy are now “on demand” for us. It’s nice to come home and be able to watch whenever we like. Even for shows that come on weekly through suscription services like Hulu or Starz, we wait until the season is over and then binge watch. If it’s a suscription service that we don’t use regularly, we also have the added benefit of only having to pay for it for a month instead of the length of the show’s season.  The biggest benefit of cutting out cable for me, however, has been no commercials, and probably not for the reason that you think.

See, I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and I am particularly susceptible to the sins of seeking the approval of man and covetousness (I am not afraid to get gritty and raw with you. When we share our brokenness and need for Christ with others, they can recognize their own). Coming to know the Savior has shown me that I have value that is not based on the approval of others, but I still struggle occasionally and try to avoid certain triggers that may cause me to sin in this area. What this means for me is that I avoid certain stores and I never, ever look at magazines. Here lately it has also meant a Facebook break. I may end up deleting Facebook altogether. I am still praying about this. What I didn’t realize until they were gone, is that commercials make me feel the same way that these things do.

This may seem crazy, but think about it. Commercials and advertisements are hardwired to make us feel inadequate. Their core message is that our life is not complete without their product or service. We will never be attractive. We will never be good parents. Our children will miss out. We will never be happy. Unless we buy what they are selling. If that’s not a recipe for temptation, I’m a raccoon (albeit a cute, chubby one). What’s more, is that the images and ideas that they try to sell us are not real. Stainless steel pots and pans, leather furniture, expensive make up, hip clothing, and the most high tech gadgets on the market will not satisfy us or make us beautiful.

Only Jesus can do that. He’s enough.

So what exactly is true beauty? What’s true joy? Only the work of Lord in us: A quiet and gentle spirit. Meekness. Humility. Servanthood. Thankfulness. Obedience. Compassion. A heart bent on loving others no matter the cost. These things are of eternal value, and do not fade away with the passing of time. Now that’s real. And beautiful.