The Old Man Named Ken
We were made in the image of God and perfection can only come from God. Read more…
Good day everyone! I’m glad you’ve returned to piecebyPeace. We’ve been engaging two verses, Ephesians 4:22-24 and Colossians 3:10. I hope you are not weary of them because we’re going to be digging into them for quite some time. We haven’t gotten to the meat of them yet. Today we will begin to sink our teeth in.
Have you guys ever heard of Justin Jedlica? I’m guessing most likely not. I randomly learned of him while scrolling through my timeline on Facebook on a late night and watched a video interview of him. He is considered to be the human Ken Barbie Doll. This man has had 190 cosmetic procedures to transform his appearance to resemble the Ken Barbie Doll. He has almost every type of implant that you can think of as well as having a rib removed, and almost every kind of cosmetic surgery on his face. He recently just underwent surgery to remove veins from his forehead, because he didn’t like the way they popped out when he smiled. That specific procedure is considered very dangerous because a person can go blind having it done. Every doctor he consulted with before the one who performed the surgery did not want to do it due to the high risk. They told him it was too risky for the price for vanity. The surgeon that performed the procedure had to cut veins in his eyelids for his appearance to be exactly as he dreamed.
One of the surgeries he has undergone is a four-piece back enhancement surgery using implants he handcrafted himself. He is an artist and made his own implants because he wanted to make sure that they were sculpted exactly the way he wanted them to look—like Ken’s back. He has paid about $220,000 on more than 20 plastic surgeries and still does not consider himself to be complete. He says that he has a long way to go until he is perfect.
So why did I bring him up? Recall Ephesians 4:21-22, “Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22) to put off your old self, [a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23) and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24) and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
The nature of the old man’s beginning is deceit. Remember in the garden of Eden Satan deceived Eve into believing that she was not good enough. The word for deceit in our verse is apátē – a false impression, made to deceive or cheat – i.e. deceit motivated by guile and treachery (trickery, fraud).
Satan has done the same with most of humanity. We have believed his lies and in some form or fashion have tried to add to who we are by either putting something on or taking something away. Whether it’s something that is physical with our looks, a person that we cannot live without or a mask of a certain attribute that makes us appear the way we want people to see us—all of these and more can be considered part of the old man because their beginning is a lie from the enemy. The desires that come from the old man are only sinful false impressions, resulting from Satan’s self-projected thoughts, in the form of our own inner self critiquing voice to beguile us. It’s all deceit.
I think that what Justin has put himself through is a very good example of trying to take off the old man and make a new person. However, in doing so he has failed in trying to. When Justin looked in the mirror, and didn’t like what he saw, it was the thoughts of the enemy. It’s Justin’s mind that needed changing and not his outer form. This is why Paul says to, “take of the old self and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God.” To do this, we must first allow our minds to be made new in Christ. This is the beginning of wholeness being pieced back together by God. A new mind is the first piece of the new man that God wants to give us.
I found it interesting that Justin is quoted saying, “I want to put out a silicone implant line that would be custom…Piece by piece, things I’m doing can be something that other people can benefit from.” – Huffington Post. Justin has paid an incredible amount to change the outside of his being. Now he is making pieces that he is selling to help people make themselves new as well. Likewise, Christ paid an incredible price when He died for us. All of humanity definitely can benefit from His death. No value can be put on what He did to make us whole. His sacrifice was priceless. Jesus also does not charge us for the pieces that He wants to restore to us. Everything is free of charge from Him. We don’t have to break the bank in trying to become whole. All we have to do is go to the Prince of Peace Isaiah 9:6.
Spiritually, we cannot give ourselves something that we don’t have. Only Jesus can restore. Justin cannot make himself perfect by changing his appearance and we cannot make ourselves perfect by changing anything about ourselves we don’t like. That is a lie from the enemy. We were made in the image of God and perfection can only come from God. Even if a person is born with a physical defect, it does not make them less valuable than anyone else in the sight of God. Even if they have surgery to correct what is defected, they are not worth more than what they were previous to the surgery.
Our identities need to be grounded in who we are in God and not what we look like or other things. The perfection we need is of our character. When we have peace with God because we allow Him to perfect our character, which starts with a mind change, we will be at peace with ourselves and accept all of who we are.
I want to mention one last thing about Justin. He was married and was divorced after two years. He said that he just wanted someone to fall in love with him for his soul and not the way he looks. A famous matchmaker named Pattie Stanger who was trying to help him find love told him that he needed to stop focusing on his outward appearance because it got in the way of his last relationship and will get in the way of any future ones.
I struggled with my appearance for years because I did not like the way that I looked. I would be scared to leave the house without weave or makeup. I finally decided to accept myself for who I am. When I did that I was able to accept others for who they are. My confidence is no longer tied up in my external appearance but rather my identity and I am at peace with God.
I hope Justin finds Jesus Christ someday and realizes that he does not need to add to himself, nor takeaway anything either. He was already loved and accepted by God exactly the way his Creator made him. Even after all of His changes God loves him the same. No less and no more. God wants to make him a new man like he can make the rest of us, by first giving him a new mind.
I pray that we all allow God to give us a new mind.