Free & Fit Challenge 2017 - Freedom from Appearance by Rita Tam

Free & Fit Challenge 2017 - Freedom from Appearance by Rita Tam

Rita Tam and some of the Free & Fit London team at St Marks Church in Kennington

Opening Scripture Psalm 119 13-16 (Amplified Version) For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was being formed in secret, And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were appointed for me, When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape]. Taken from:

The beautiful Prospect Park in Brooklyn

Biography Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, we’ve been told and this is often the message we receive consciously or unconsciously from the wave after wave of images we look at, whether we are aware of it or not, every day. But as Christians we can have a different perspective and know that beauty comes not only from the beholder but also that beauty comes from within. And if we imagine that God is our “beholder” then all the better. His gaze is one that stems from love.

The lovely beaches of Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Sometimes our appearances become a bit of a competition- speaking as a woman, it is an issue amongst women. Men may think that we are dressing up for them, putting on make-up etc to attract their attention. However, from my own experiences and feelings- it is other women we are competing against and wanting to out-look. And it could be similar for men, needing to appear equally fit or able compared to other men. However, God gives us a standard from the get-go, from the very start: after he created all of life, he saw that it was good. We are good because God made us. The state of our appearance doesn’t have to make us “good enough”- we have been given that already just by being created. But how often do we remember or realise this? Many of us can be caught up in worry and anxiety about how we appear to others; whether it is about physical appearance or our character. But God reminds us to not worry. He reminds us how nature is clothed and the birds are provided for. God knows our needs, our insecurities and our hearts. That is his main concern. Do you believe that? We do not need to worry about how we appear to others if God remains our primary view. Rather than focusing on ourselves- our eyes should be looking to him ultimately and his appearance to us. We can be like mirrors to others reflecting God rather than ourselves. God has given us a new view to see the world from and to be a new creation. Therefore, we can shed the old coat of fear, doubt and sorrow and step into a new wardrobe. One that has been fashioned and tailored to our exact measurements. And we are given so much freedom then to be ourselves in a world which often asks everyone to appear the same. God asks us to be true to whom He has made.

The wonderful city of New York, New York City.

Freedom from appearance (or thinking about appearance too much)

Think about these following advertising slogans-