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Miranda Writes: God Donít Make No Junk!




by Omar Miranda



I love my bedtime ritual. Around 10:00 p.m. I go to bed. First, I pray and read my Bible. Then, if I’m still awake enough, I get my “nerd” on and read my Smithsonian magazine. I absolutely love it! It’s like going to a really nice museum without the crowds, walking, over-priced, tasteless food, or having to talk in whispers. (I really hate that last one.)

Last night, as I was reading my magazine, I came across an advertisement for an organization that helps care for children in poorer parts of the world. I was shocked by the horrific picture of a child that showed how the entire top of his mouth wasn’t formed correctly. The advertisement went on to explain that this child had something called a “cleft palate.” Many children in poorer parts of the world don’t have the benefits of prenatal care, so they’re born with many kinds of preventable birth defects. Fortunately, all this could be fixed with money that would give these children the opportunity to have plastic surgery.

After reading that advertisement, I began to think about an article1 I read last week on the same topic: plastic surgery. But what I read scared me for a different and much sadder reason. Let me explain. Here’s the title: “Teens Opt for Nip, Tuck as Quick Fix for Body-Image Issues.” The author’s main point was that a lot of teens aren’t satisfied with the way they look, and many of them seriously consider getting plastic surgery in search of a perfect body.

It went on to say that teens consider a variety of procedures. The most popular among all teens was nose jobs. For guys, the most popular was breast reductions, and for girls the most popular was increasing the size of their breasts.

The author went on to observe that many times teens make the decision to have plastic surgery without fully considering the outcome. The results, however, are permanent. The author feels that this is a result of a culture that is accustomed to having everything instantly.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen this issue increase dramatically throughout the many years that I’ve spent time with teens. Of course, it’s nothing new; most teens, and countless adults, dislike at least one thing about their body. The desire to change one’s physical appearance is often rooted deep beneath the skin. I’ve noticed that often, when teens want plastic surgery, it’s because they have been teased or bullied about the attribute they despise so much. Many times this can cause their self-esteem to drop, making them reason wrongly that things would be better if they just got that physical feature fixed. The problem is that their real issue isn’t external, it’s emotional, and no amount of surgery is ever going to fix that. They must learn to see themselves as more than just skin deep, and many times in this image-driven, “beautiful people” culture, that is very hard to do.

I don’t want you to think that all plastic surgery is sinful and only shallow people do it. The important thing to consider is why people want to have it. For someone who’s been in a horrific accident, or who’s had some sort of disease that’s terribly disfigured part of their body, it can be a very important part of the healing process. Many times teen girls decide to get breast reductions, which is technically plastic surgery, but if they don’t, they could have lifelong, chronic neck, shoulder, and back problems.

So how do you learn to be OK with how you look? First, you must see yourself through God’s eyes. Here’s the bottom line: God loved you so much that He sent His son, Jesus, to die for you. (John 3:16) In Psalm 139:13-16 (CEV)2 the author uses words such as “wonderful way,” “created,” “marvelous,” and “woven,” to describe how God created his body. Next, I find it interesting to note that during creation, the only two things that God did with His own hands were plant the Garden of Eden and make human beings.

Finally, you need to spend time with people who will love you for yourself and not just how you look. That means you might have to make some tough decisions about people you won’t hang out with. This responsibility falls not only on you but also on your friends to create effective and healthy boundaries and only allow supportive, nurturing people in your inner circle.

 I hope that our discussion of this important issue has caused you to rethink your opinions and how you view your physical appearance. After all, God don’t make no junk!

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omiranda@rhpa.org; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, editor, Insight Magazine

1 www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/27/teens-opt-for-nip-tuck-as-quick-fix-for-body-image/.
2 Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.
Omar Miranda is the editor/director of Insight Ministries and a Christian counselor and with more than 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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