1 John 4:18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. (NLT)
When you think of addiction, what comes to mind? Substance abuse? Bad habits? Sin?
This year I have been coming to terms with my addiction to the products I rely on to keep my external body “beautiful.” When anything becomes an idol, it enslaves you. Although I’ve switched over to using only natural products on my skin and hair, the obsession and fear are still there. For example, out of fear I perform a ritual on my face every morning and every night to keep my skin clear.
There is nothing wrong with using products to keep your body clean and beautiful. It is your attitude that needs to be examined. As children, we played in the dirt, bathed when forced, and barely gave the mirror a second glance. We were free! Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made.
The media tells you otherwise. You are not beautiful, you are dirty, and you need to buy products month after month to measure up. These products are twofold. On one hand, they contain elements that treat and manage what they claim to cure. On the other hand, they are formulated with ingredients that exacerbate the problem; this keeps you buying the product.
When we choose to stay blind and enslaved, we become addicts. As a teenager, there were bottles and bottles of commercial facewash under my sink. I fell for the ads and hook, line, and sinker. Instead of trusting that God equipped my body to heal itself, I chose to believe the lies that had me running to the store every month for my next fix.
Over the years, the products changed to natural ones, but the behavior and attitude remained the same. I don’t believe God gave us bodies that need such constant fussing over. The gifts He gives are good and free, and I don’t think He would condemn me to spending a lot of money each month just to have natural beauty.
That is why I am embarking on a journey of letting go. I’m learning to let go of the fear that if I don’t perform certain rituals each and every day, my body will go haywire. The oil our skin and scalp produces has a purpose. It does not need to be stripped away daily. After years of interference, my body will have to relearn balance. It may feel and look uncomfortable for a time, but that is the nature of withdrawl. Clinging to God’s perfect love and His promises is the only thing that will keep me from surrendering to fear.
Here is what the Bible says…
Proverbs 4:20-22My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them.Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them,and healing to their whole body.Psalm 103:2-4 Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sin and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from deathand crowns me with love and tender mercies.
Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces
1 Corinthians 6:12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
Psalm 139:13-16 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.