Which isn’t sound very God-honoring.
I’ve been wanting to do a critique on Girl Defined in the style of Brittany Dawn for a while but alas, just don’t have the time while trying to 100% complete Forbidden West.
That said, Bethany Beal of Girl Defined is not very Christ-like. She’s currently complaining about free gifts people have sent her.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18. While I’m certain Paul was probably talking about Christians being imprisoned, burned at the stake, and chopped in half for preaching the gospel here, this verse could easily apply to someone attempting to give you a backpack listed on your own registry. For free.
Furthermore, she’s fighting with people online who (rightfully) point out that saying she’d rather roast herself like a hot dog than work 9-5 is stupid.
Lying is one of the 7 deadly sins. I doubt if given the option between being grilled for cannibal meat and working a normal job, she would choose to roast. Secondly, doubling down rather than either turning the other cheek, or apologizing for making it seem like working is a bad thing (because there’s no reason to degrade someone else’s profession just to uplift your own), is deliberately stirring strife. Something Christians ought not to do. The Bible say, “[t]hey were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” Does she really look at behavior and thinks it’s honoring God? Especially when this behavior is right up there with murder?
Despite Girl Defined building their brand on being Godly, Bethany is nothing but. Her family is relatively wealthy, and she runs an Instagram account called sheworkssmart selling 3k courses and boasting about how much money she makes.
Yes, she’s not only begging her followers for gifts instead of throwing a baby shower, but also bragging about having added things for her current son to her unborn child’s registry. If she’s making as much money as she’s claiming to be, why does she need other people to buy her gifts? Charity is a tenet of Christianity, so if anything she ought to bless her followers with her abundance of wealth. And while she’d no doubt say something like “oh these people just blessed me out of the goodness of their heart”, she wouldn’t have posted her registry publicly if she didn’t want to guilt her followers into buying her stuff.
Hebrews says, “[k]eep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have…” and Proverbs says “[b]etter is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” Sure, while there aren’t any explicit Bible verses saying don’t exploit the people who support you into funding your own lifestyle, it goes without saying her behavior is shady and selfish at best, downright sinful at worst.
Christians shouldn’t be known for their grifting but for their generosity. Yet, in all my time following Bethany, I don’t recall ever seeing her even do like a $20 Starbucks gift card giveaway. It’s quite telling that at nearly every opportunity to be generous Bethany (and the rest of Girl Defined) choose to focus only on themselves and their needs. Time and time again, they’ve had opportunities to show true, sacrificial charity like Jesus did and yet, they not only fail but are smug and boastful about it.
For all Bethany’s poetic waxing about not finding your identity in gender and how we’re not the king of our lives, perhaps she should read the Bible a bit more closely. After all, it’s not the love of self that’s the root of all evil but the love of money.