The other day I became shockingly aware of how critical I am when it comes to photos of myself.

My boyfriend is quite the photographer and, after a recent camping trip, he had distributed a few copies of photo dvd’s to some of those who went along. Looking over the pictures with a friend, I was embarrassed to see how many of the pictures were of me.

“Oh no,” I thought. “Everyone is going to be looking at these…”

Honestly, I don’t really like having my photo taken, and when I must, I dismiss most of the results as “hideous”.

“No, that one’s awful.”

“No.”

“No.”

“Oh, delete that one.”

“Do I really look like that?”

Those are the things you’re likely to hear me say as I sort through pictures people have taken of me.

And I don’t think I’m alone in this. In fact, I think you’ll here most young women pick through images of themselves in this way.

But really, I’m not normally a vain person – I don’t really wear make-up, I take a reasonable time to get ready and, most days, my hair and I aren’t even on speaking terms…

So why do I care so much about photos?

I think it has a little to do with the fact that a photo is forever. If I look terrible, that moment is there, frozen in time, for everyone to see over and over again.

But I think the real reason is deeper than that.

I think it’s about our culture’s perception of beauty.

I think that, from a very young age, women have a set image of what is beautiful heavily impressed upon them.

When we sort through our photos, we’re not making sure they’re “okay”, we’re making sure they fit the description of beauty that our society holds to.

It’s really hard to escape something that is slowly and steadily drilled into your brain, like this idea of beauty.

How do you get rid of that?

I think there’s two important things to think about…

1. God made us the way we are, and he NEVER does dodgy work.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

We have no reason to be so picky with the way we look in photos.

Instead of sorting through photos on the basis of what our culture says is beautiful, let’s keep the ones that look like US…

And…

2. Eternity, and where we will be spending it, matters more than looks.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day… So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

This ol’ bag of flesh and bones isn’t made to last forever.

Let’s concentrate on the more important things.

What would it mean for you to fix your eyes on what is “unseen” each day?