Interview by Deborah Rutherford
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF OUR BEHOLDER SERIES: Introducing the Beholder Beauty Interview with Doris Swift, author & speaker, founder of Fierce Calling Ministries, and host of the award-winning Fierce Calling Podcast. Be sure to scroll down and enter our BOOK GIVEAWAY for “Surrender the Joy Stealers: Rediscover the Jesus Joy in You.” The Blithe Daniel Literary Agency has provided for one of our readers to receive a copy of this new book!
Join Doris and me as we discuss finding our true identity in Christ, joy stealers, freedom from shame, and sharing God’s truth as His beautiful daughters.
Beholder Beauty Interview with Doris Swift, author & speaker, founder of Fierce Calling Ministries, and host of the award-winning Fierce Calling Podcast.
DEBORAH: As I was reading your Bible study, Surrender the Joy Stealers: Rediscover the Jesus Joy in You, on page 40, you write, “God’s Word dispels lies because the Bible tells the truth of who you are – a beautiful, vibrant branch which grows out from the true vine – Jesus. In Christ, you are justified, sanctified daily, and can look forward to being glorified when you live out eternity with Jesus.” How does this help us live our lives as beautiful daughters of God?
DORIS: Thank you, Deborah. I love how God’s Word tells us in Genesis that we were created in the image of God, Imago Dei being the Latin term. As Psalm 139:13 tells us, God formed our innermost being and knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs. Our creation was an intimately and intricately beautiful process. We are beautiful and vibrant branches because we are connected to Jesus, and our beauty flows from a place of his love. We are beautiful daughters not only because of how we were created but because of who created us. As daughters of God, we are included, accepted, and loved. God’s wonderous and purposeful plans of justification, sanctification, and glorification further affirm our value and worth. What could be more beautiful than being loved by God and being included in his intentional and purposeful big-picture plan? God calls us to live our lives as the beautiful daughters we are in him.
DEBORAH: When we cultivate inner beauty, our outer beauty reflects Christ. Our walk and our fruit demonstrate this. How can we combat destructive thoughts and feelings about our appearances and self-perceptions that steal our joy?
DORIS: Great question, Deborah! We can combat destructive thoughts by raising our Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God. God’s truth dispels the lies the enemy wants us to believe about ourselves. We live in a broken world, and brokenness distorts our perspective, perception, and purpose.
The enemy, our culture, and even our own false beliefs can play a part in how we feel about ourselves. A distorted perspective of our true identity as God’s daughters can stem from where we’ve been, what we’ve done, or what’s been done to us. It can also be a result of names other people have labeled us with. It’s important to be proactive in stopping destructive thoughts, regardless of the source.
When I’ve counseled women, I’ve used the analogy of a stop light. When we approach an intersection, green means go, yellow means caution, and red means stop, right? When applying this concept to our thought life, green represents the good thoughts, yellow is a warning that our thoughts are becoming unhealthy, and red reminds us to stop those unhealthy thoughts and replace them with the truth. Otherwise, our thoughts can begin a downward spiral leaving us in despair. Those thoughts are oftentimes lies we believe about ourselves.
When we break it down further, a secular worldview points us to self, while a biblical worldview points us to Christ. We can gain a fresh perspective by applying God’s truth and redirecting our focus off of ourselves and onto Jesus.
Several Scriptures come to mind that protect our minds from destructive thoughts. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are told to take every thought captive to obey Christ. In Philippians 4:8, we are told what to think about, and in Romans 12:2, we are told not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. God’s truth equals a healthy thought-life.
DEBORAH: I have struggled with shame from my past, and although I know God has forgiven me and washed me clean, I sometimes forget that Solomon 4:9 applies to me too. You write about how shame is a joy stealer. I love your quote on page 15 of your book, “Jesus shamed shame, and we are shameless in his name.” You are so right. Shame steals our joy and perception of ourselves, how others see us, and how God sees us. What advice do you have for those of us who suffer from shame?
DORIS: Shame plagued me for years, and even after accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior, I still battled with shame. Once I discovered what the Bible has to say about shame, for example, Romans 8:1, which says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, I threw off shame and left it at the foot of the cross. Jesus was put to what was considered a shameful form of execution. He bore all of that for us, and because of his sacrifice, we can walk out of shame and into freedom. The key is surrendering our shame to the Lord and to stop taking it back. Yes, we need to confess, forgive, and repent if our shame stems from unconfessed sin, unforgiveness, or knowingly continuing in sinful behaviors, but once we’ve worked through all of that with the Lord, we are free. There is no need to hang onto the shame Jesus already wiped away by the shedding of his blood.
DEBORAH: Have you ever struggled with your appearance, how others see you, or how God sees you? Is it ever hard to be seen as God’s beautiful daughter? As we discussed, this could be a shame, aging, comparison, or vanity. How do you deal with these kinds of feelings and thoughts? Is there any scripture or story in the Bible that helps you?
DORIS: I have struggled with appearance, image, people-pleasing, and acceptance. Trying to lose the extra pounds, smooth the new wrinkles, and cover up the gray can feel like a losing battle, amen?! But what are we really fighting against?
Are we trying to live up to the expectations of the world and please people, or are we trying to please God, as Paul says in Galatians 1:10? We can easily fall into the traps of comparison, vanity, and people-pleasing, but here’s the good news—we don’t have to live that way. Once I came to that realization, it brought such freedom and a fresh perspective.
A few years ago, I wrote a blog series called Five Fierce Truths About You. One of the posts was entitled: “You Have Fierce Confidence Through Christ.” It all comes down to our true identity. When we know who we are in Christ, we are confident through who we are in Christ.
Here’s a quote from that post:
“Our worth is in Christ, our value is in Christ, and only through him are we enough. When we take the focus off of our own shortcomings, we find it is through those shortcomings God’s power in us shines through.”
DEBORAH: We live in a culture where beauty is superficial, hypersexualized, and often empty. Have you ever felt conflicted about your appearance or self-perception when matching up to this? How has being seen as God’s beautiful daughter helped you?
DORIS: I think I covered most of this regarding myself in the previous answer, but I’ll add more here. As women of God, we have been entrusted with the truth. It’s up to us to share God’s truth about identity with others, including our youth, so they know who they are in Christ.
Girls in our families, schools, and churches are struggling with self-image, depression, and anxiety. Studies have shown, and it’s no surprise, that social media is causing more harm than good and is detrimental to mental health. Many of us use social media to spread truth and light, but even we can be drawn into the façade of perfection.
So yes, we are called to be counter-cultural and use our gifts to impact the world for Christ. As God’s beautiful daughters, we find our worth, value, and purpose in him.
We are called to be counter-cultural and use our gifts to impact the world for Christ. As God’s beautiful daughters, we find our worth, value, and purpose in him. – Doris Swift #Godsbeautifuldaughters #beauty #worthyTweet
DEBORAH: How do you speak to the younger generation about living for an inner-lasting beauty rather than an earthly temporal beauty?
DORIS: I’ve had the opportunity to share about how inner beauty shines through on the outside. Then on the flip side of that, a lack of inner beauty shines outwardly as well. I’ve asked teens at church, and my grandkids, if they’ve ever met someone they thought was beautiful on the outside, but because that person displayed a lack of kindness or integrity, their outward beauty began to fade?
We can probably all think of examples like that, but we certainly don’t want to be that example to others. When we have Christ in us, we have the indwelling of the Spirit of God. When we are transformed, born again, we exude the Fruit of the Spirit, and our inner beauty shines through. That’s not to say we shouldn’t take care of our physical bodies.
God also cares about our physical bodies and provides what we need, just as he provided manna in the wilderness. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and physical health is essential to our calling. We are called to be disciples who make disciples, and we need to be healthy disciples, which is vastly different from being vain disciples.
But just as you said, when we’re talking about beauty, inner beauty is true beauty. Our earthly bodies are just tents, after all. It’s what’s on the inside that really matters.
DEBORAH: There is an inner beauty movement not just with Christian women, but I see it everywhere. It could be because it is impossible to match up with what our culture and social media present to us. Earthly beauty is always fleeting and changing. The seasons change, as well as our life cycles, and algorithms. This can steal our joy! What can we do to help us keep our joy when the world around us is in constant flux?
DORIS: Surrender is key, and Jesus is the answer. We find in 1 Peter 5:7 that we’re to cast ALL our anxieties on him because he cares for us. Not some of our anxieties, but all of them. In Surrender the Joy Stealers: Rediscover the Jesus Joy in You, I share how our joy is always present regardless of circumstances. I encourage the reader that their joy cannot be lost or stolen. In John 15:11, Jesus tells us his joy is in us, that our joy may be full. Abiding in Christ, our True Vine, as the beautiful branches we are, is where we want to be found. When the world around us is in a constant state of flux, we can stand firm in our faith and freely receive our joy because joy is a Fruit of the Spirit, and Jesus is our constant source of joy.
Thank you so much, Deborah, for the opportunity to share with your readers. I hope it blesses them.
Shame plagued me for years, and even after accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior, I still battled with shame. Once I discovered what the Bible has to say about shame, for example, Romans 8:1, which says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, I threw off shame and left it at the foot of the cross. – Doris Swift #shame #redeemed #restoredTweet
Enter the Surrender the Joy Stealers Book Giveaway – Beholder Beauty Interview with Doris Swift, author & speaker, founder of Fierce Calling Ministries, and host of the award-winning Fierce Calling Podcast.
The Blithe Daniel Literary Agency has provided for one of our readers to receive a copy of this new book and I would love to give you a copy of Surrender the Joy Stealers: Rediscover the Jesus Joy in You.
I think it is a faith-grower, life-changer, and morning friend—and I want you to experience this too.
Would you like that?
Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Doris Swift is an author, speaker, founder of Fierce Calling Ministries, and host of the award-winning Fierce Calling podcast. She is passionate about equipping women to dig deeper into God’s word, take action where their passion, compassion, and conviction intersect, and walk boldly in their fierce calling. Her new Bible study, Surrender the Joy Stealers: Rediscover the Jesus Joy in You, a six-week Bible study rooted in John 15, is available at dorisswift.com.
Fierce Calling Podcast: https://dorisswift.com/podcast-2/
Remember, you are Beautiful!
Beauty Is in the Eye of Our Beholder seeks to help women see themselves as God’s beautiful daughters. Some describe a faithful Christian as glowing. This spiritual glow from the Holy Spirit comes from the inside out, radiating our body, character, conversation, and conduct – our whole being.
I would love to connect more with you and give you my FREE gift – BEAUTY IS IN THE EYES OF OUR BEHOLDER MANIFESTO: 10 Affirmations to cultivate your glow. You can also sign up HERE for my newsletter and receive the FREE Manifesto, recent blog posts, book reviews, giveaways, and personal details only delivered to my lovely email tribe.
Follow Also on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest – Thank you!
This site is ad-supported. Learn more here. Please check out my affiliate partners! Doing so helps you and supports my blog – WPengine, Sephora, Ulta, Barnes and Noble, Koh Gen Do, Dr. Perricone, and The Virtual Savvy.