BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF OUR BEHOLDER SERIES: Introducing the Beholder Beauty Interview with Whitney Akin, author & speaker. Author of the book “Overlooked: Finding Your Worth When You Feel All Alone.” Be sure to scroll down and PICK-UP WHITNEY’S free resource – “12 Questions Every Christian Should Answer Before Using Social Media.”
Join Whitney and me as we talk about feeling overlooked and how to find our worth through God rather than the world.
Deborah: In your book Overlooked, on page 39, you write, “When God sees his children, he sees the glory of his perfect Son. When we stand before the eyes of God, covered in redeeming blood, we hear the words we thought were lost and forgotten back in the garden spoken over us again: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Tell us how God brought you to this fantastic truth you wrote about.
Whitney: This truth is ultimately the story of the Gospel – that through Jesus we are reconciled once again to who he created us to be. When I was writing my book, Overlooked, I was struck by the amount of compassionate attention on display in the Creation narrative in Genesis 1. God had a conversation with himself, which is such a beautiful picture of a triune God discussing the creation of man made in His image. When Adam and Eve were created, the first thing they received was the attention and approval of God, “God saw…it was very good.” But with the fall, we were separated from God by sin and that perfect attention and approval was broken. Thankfully, it wasn’t the end of the story. Through the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our sins are forgiven and we are welcomed once again to the throne of God where we can hear the attention and approval from the Garden. God sees us, and because of Jesus, we are very good.
Deborah: The above Scripture and quote from your book are beautiful. As I have been writing about being seen as beautiful by God, this told me that because God is my Creator, I am beautifully made and wonderfully made in His image, but because of Jesus, I am washed clean and made good – beautiful by the blood of Jesus. How does knowing that God sees us help us live as beautiful daughters of God?
Whitney: If we spend our lives trying to find our worth in the things we do, the people who approve of us, or the stuff we have, we’ll find that we’re never worthy enough. This can lead us to feel insecure, competitive, and overlooked. With our heads down in shame and defeat, it’s hard to live as beautiful daughters of God. But when we grasp the truth that our worth was bought by Jesus on the cross, shame loses its power and our defeat is turned to victory. We can lift our heads and walk with confidence in this truth. And a confident daughter of God is a beautiful thing!
“When we grasp the truth that our worth was bought by Jesus on the cross, shame loses its power and our defeat is turned to victory. We can lift our heads and walk with confidence in this truth. And a confident daughter of God is a beautiful thing!” – Whitney Akin #worthy #shame #confidence #JesusTweet
Deborah: What advice can you give us when feeling overlooked begins? Like when someone makes a comment, whether good or bad or we are in the dressing room trying on clothing. What immediate action can we take?
Whitney: In the book, I talk about the 3Ps: Perspective, Purpose, and Position. I remind myself of these three things when I begin to feel overlooked.
- Perspective: Even when I’m a mess, even when I can’t live up to the expectations of others, the God Who Sees sees me. He crafted me with a purpose, he chose me, and he cares about my life.
- Purpose: I know I am the good creation my Good Creator made me to be. He has equipped me to get about the work of his kingdom.
- Position: I am not overlooked or forgotten. I am not loved because of how I look, what I can do, my things, or my friend list. I am not defined by the impression I make or the energy I bring to a room. I am so much more than I give myself credit for, not because there is good in me, but because there is God in me.
Deborah: For women of faith living in a culture that represents beauty externally and where beauty is superficial, hypersexualized, and often empty, how do we protect ourselves from comparison, matching up, and feelings that leave us conflicted about our appearance or self-perception? How has living a life seen by God helped you? How has your life changed to be seen by God, and how has this affected how you see yourself in the mirror, the eyes of others, and God’s eyes?
Whitney: So often what I see in the world around me are women who want to leverage their beauty as power. I see a world that will even go so far as to worship beauty and human sexuality. But as Ecclesiastes tells us, there’s nothing new under the sun. This has been the tendency of humanity for thousands of years. Ultimately, this preoccupation with beauty is a desire to elevate our humanity so that we can fool ourselves into believing we are inherently good and beautiful. But the truth is, we are inherently sinful. The only good or beautiful thing about us is Jesus. I think it’s important for Christian women to recognize the danger of the beauty narrative in the world around us and to cling to the truth of the Gospel. There is deep and abiding beauty in a woman whose heart is close to Jesus. In fact, nothing is more beautiful than a human heart that is being sanctified and transformed to be like the Father. If we can lean into that real beauty – the kind of beauty God sees in us – we’ll be far more captivated than we could ever be with the counterfeit beauty of the world.
Ultimately, this preoccupation with beauty is a desire to elevate our humanity so that we can fool ourselves into believing we are inherently good and beautiful. But the truth is, we are inherently sinful. The only good or beautiful thing about us is Jesus. – Whitney Akin #beauty #truth #ChristianbeautyTweet
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, our life cycles, and algorithms. You write about how social media can lead us to feel overlooked. How can we protect ourselves from distraction and falling into the world’s eyes rather than God’s?
Whitney: One of the many ways God is not like the world around us is that he is immutable; he does not change. The fads and styles of our world are constantly changing along with the standards for beauty. If we look to social media for those standards, we’ll find that it’s nearly impossible to keep up. Because social media is such a powerful tool, we have to learn how to use it effectively. That means we might go to social media for inspiration, we might enjoy make-up tutorials and fashion reels, but when that enjoyment turns into comparison, envy, or even idolatry, we must reassess. These shifts in our heart can happen so subtly. It’s important that while we navigate social media, we ask ourselves honest questions like, am I comparing myself with that girl? Do I envy her lifestyle, stuff, or clothes? Am I giving this person too much influence in my heart on a regular basis? Sometimes these questions seem dramatic to ask – it’s just a video on social media, right?! But I’ve found that our human hearts are very prone to these pitfalls. When we realize we’ve started veering off into these lines of thinking, we can realign our hearts by reminding ourselves of our unchanging God: He looks at the heart above outward appearances (1 Samuel 6:7), He calls us to fix our eyes on what is unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18), and He reminds us that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised above beauty (Proverbs 31:30).
Deborah: How do you speak to your daughters and the younger generation about living for an inner-lasting beauty rather than an earthly temporal beauty? I know reading your book as a teen would have helped me tremendously.
This is the superpower of the overlooked. When we learn to live seen, we become excellent seers. The legacy we leave to a world longing for attention is the gift of seeing.Whitney Akin
Whitney: I try to remind my daughters of the many ways they’re beautiful, not only in their outward appearance but in their creativity, kindness, courage, joyfulness, boldness, thoughtfulness, and strength. In all of these ways, they are beautiful because they reflect the image of their heavenly Father. I also try to have open conversations, even at a young age, about the great differences between worldly beauty and godly beauty. Ultimately, I can’t stop the influences of a world bent on being seen and loved by others, but I can lead them to the God who sees and loves them. I can remind them that their worth isn’t found in others but in Jesus. My goal is to teach them to lean on Jesus when they feel left out, overlooked, or insecure because they will inevitably feel those things in this life. I also pray my daughters will be Seers. I hope they learn to see others well and are willing to be the ones to reach out when they notice someone who is alone and overlooked.
Is social media hard on your heart?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Social media comes with a lot of good, like keeping up with the girls from college, staying connected to the world when we’re stuck at home, and even as a platform for sharing our faith.
But with the good, also come some pretty big challenges like comparison, jealousy, selfish ambition, and division. We’ve all cringed while reading a post that was better left unsaid. We’ve all silently scrolled through comments that read a lot like a virtual boxing match.
As Christians, we have the opportunity to honor Christ with the way we interact on social media. This powerful tool needs to be handled with careful boundaries and honest self-reflection. That’s why I’ve created a simple social media checklist that can help us assess our heart posture as we click open the familiar apps on our phones today.
Sign up below for Whitney’s free resource, “12 Questions Every Christian Should Answer Before Using Social Media.”
MEET THE AUTHOR –
Whitney Akin is the author of Overlooked: Finding Your Worth With You Feel All Alone. Her heart is to see and celebrate the purpose and potential of the overlooked and invite them to live seen by the God who loves them. Whitney’s writing has been featured in (in)courage, Her View From Home, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and more. You can find more of her writing and speaking on her website at www.whitneyakin.com and connect with her on Instagram or Facebook. Whitney lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Eli, and their three (crazy) beautiful kids.
Link to Book: Overlooked: Finding Your Worth When You Feel All Alone
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.
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