This demeaning word is one I often allow to define me. It can be the beginning of the day, when my hair resembles an electrocuted peacock, or it can be when I’m getting all glammed up and am looking pretty fine. Regardless of my glamour status, however, this is a word I have chosen to define myself far too many times. And this needs to change.
Many of you are aware of my battles with insecurities and self-image issues. Many of you even have an acute awareness–because you fight them, too. This blog post stems from an emboldened attempt to encourage the daughters of God to courageously claim their worth in Him.
This has to start with the proper attire. We need to arm ourselves with the sword of the Spirit and put on all the other spiritual layers: the helmet of salvation (to protect our feeble minds and pretty heads), the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth (to keep our pants up), the shield of faith and the footwear with which the gospel of peace readies us! Added to all of this is prayer–and none of this “Now I lay me down to sleep” stuff.
Having donned the appropriate gear for this battle…what is it exactly that we are fighting? It’s easy to throw punches; it’s far more difficult to look your opponent in the face and authoritatively command his exit. If I put you all in a room and asked for some common skirmish themes, you would probably say something like this:
“I’m not skinny enough.”
“I’m not curvy enough.”
“I’m not pretty enough.”
“I’m not sexy enough.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m just not enough, okay?!”
On top of this, we probably don’t have amazing white teeth or soft, Revlon hair and we probably cut ourselves shaving, too! So there.
At this point, it’s time for something scandalous. Are you ready? It’s an even crazier secret than what you’ll find in Cosmopolitan. And won’t the girls be jealous when you learn this…
You are not good enough.
Nope. Not by yourself. No amount of “believing in yourself” and “dancing when no one is watching” and “reaching for the stars” is going to make you invaluable. Nothing you can do will affect your own worth.
For starters, how did you get here? How were you made? Do you realize it had nothing to do with YOU?! You had no control over the time period in which you were born, nor your ethnicity or physical features. You didn’t pick your original hair color, eye color, skin color, and you didn’t choose which curves naturally fit your body–or if you had any curves at all.
So. Let’s start at Square One: we were born belonging to God, made in the image of God and created for the glory of God. God doesn’t make mistakes when it comes to His glory! How putridly vain it is for us to think God didn’t do a “good enough” job when He fashioned us. Are we calling God a liar?
While that may be the case, I think what it really shows is our blatantly lacking knowledge of Him. Have we forgotten a few key truths?
* No one has the mind of the Lord, or has ever been His counselor (Romans 11:34)
* God does not show favoritism (Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11)
* God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7)
* God is love: the love that casts out fear (1 John 4:18)
* God knew us before we were born, and He “wonderfully” made us (Psalm 139:13-14)
(And lest we forget…)
*God’s word is TRUTH (John 17:17)
But apparently we are having a hard time believing truth, because we still think we’re “not good enough”. Or maybe we’re think we’re good enough, but not skinny enough?
Since “the skinny lie” as I term it, is one very familiar to me, let’s dissect it and look at its root. Well, okay, so the root is a lie. But to enlighten you, here is my very crude mathematical equation of what I know I get wrapped up in:
skinny = sexy = value
Which basically means I am then choosing what gives me value, instead of taking the Scriptural approach of:
lovedbyGod = value
So, am I then implying this?
skinny > lovedbyGod
(Hey, I said it was crude.)
Now, lest I concern some of you, I am not saying that skinny is a bad thing. It is currently a much-envied body type, but it is just that: a body type.
So, am I wanting to have my value defined by my body type? Because if that’s the case, I’ll never win. I could always be more this, or lessthat, and it wouldn’t stop until I died of malnutrition or some other gross malady. In infinite contrast, however, God’s love is entirely complete–and that is what makes me complete. He will never love us more and He can never love us less.
Are you with me on this? Do you realize that when we are faced with self-image issues and allow physical insecurities to knock us down…we are actually, actually, allowing something else to define us other than God. Worse than that, we are determining what will define us…as if we had any authority overwho we were made to be in the first place.
Ladies…what I’m saying is that we have fallen into a dreadfully distracting trap, and we need to get out of it–and get over ourselves. Being inshape is more important than being a particular shape. Maintaining your overall health is more important than maintaining the secular sex appeal. You can be as sexy as you want–the world doesn’t need to know. Save that to share with your husband. Your body doesn’t belong to the world, it belongs to God. And, when you get married, it belongs to your husband, too. So technically there’s only one person you have to please (God), and two if you get married (your husband)!
I have more to say on this, but will save it for the next part.
In the meantime, prayerfully consider what you’ve read and, if God’s truth hasn’t firmly gripped your heart, beg for Him to change that. Hang in there; God is found by those who seek Him wholeheartedly (Jer. 29:13).
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
– 2 Thess. 3:5
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
– 2 Peter 1:3-4
“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”
– 1 Peter 2:15