Okay, a show of hands, please. And be honest. Who is pretty satisfied with who you are and how you look? Not every second of every day, but most seconds of most days. So for those of you who did raise your hand, I’d love to know how you got to that point. Seriously. Leave a comment so others can hear your story.
I’m guessing most of you didn’t raise your hand. Mine went about halfway up. I want to throw it into the air with abandon, but we’re talking about truth here. There are things I know are the absolute truth about myself. I’m a wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandma. Sister and sister-in-law. Friend. Author. I’m a college graduate. I need glasses to read. I love Valais Blacknose sheep. (Aren’t they just the cutest!?) And I’m a stumbling, bumbling, determined follower of Jesus.
Facts are easy to rattle off. Unfortunately, that list is much shorter than what I believe is true about me. Funny how our self-image seems to be based on what we believe about ourselves, or what we want others to believe, rather than what’s true. Actually, it’s not funny at all.
The barrage of messages from every direction–social media, television, billboards, music videos, family members–points out what we “should” do and have, how we “should” look and act. Sometimes they point out where we’re lacking, what we do wrong, how we still don’t measure up. And that constant feed of bad messages makes us feel deficient, less than, unworthy.
Try this. The next time you’re in a crowd (a concert, the mall, downtown), take some time to just sit and observe. No judgment, no comparisons–just look. Look at the variety of faces, skin colors, body types. Some people are in wheelchairs, use a cane, or are missing a limb. You’ll see men with and without facial hair (or any hair!). Women with and without makeup, hair styled and not. A few of these faces are what society has deemed “attractive.” Almost all are not.
But every single one is beautiful in God’s eyes because He created them. Could some of us make healthier choices? Sure. But not to fit an image. Not to try to look how we think we should based on some screwy societal “norm.” Some of us (yes, my hand is all the way up this time) need to do that simply to take better care of the body God gave us. The healthier we are, the better we feel about ourselves, and life in general.
Here’s something to consider. What if God made us tall, short, artistic, athletic, quiet, kind, funny, thin, smart, musical, loud, a homebody, fat, introverted, or extroverted for a reason? If we all looked the same, acted and thought the same–most of us would be unnecessary, don’t you think? God is far too creative for that!
So the next time you look in the mirror, try to see who God sees. Someone beautiful, valuable, worth dying for. Jesus chose the cross for YOU. How do I know? Check this out: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
Put those verses (ALL of Psalm 139, for that matter) in a place where you can read it every morning. How about on the bathroom mirror? It’s a reminder of who you REALLY are, and who loves you for that very reason. And that’s a truth you can stake your life on.