Recently I had a conversation with one of my dear friends and she poured out her heart to me about the issues she’s having with body image. As a friend, my heart broke as she told me she felt like she just couldn’t possibly see herself as beautiful. I wrote this letter for her and all others out there who are struggling to find peace with what they see in the mirror.
I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling… Insecurity is really such a horrendous thing. It’s all too easy to let those voices in your head get to you… Those voices telling you you’re not enough and that you’re ugly. It’s so easy to compare yourself to x person and find so many flaws in the reflection you see in the mirror. It’s all too easy to let the lies and societal pressures crumble your self worth and confidence. I’ve been there… Heck, quite often, I’m still there. And it’s heartbreaking both to experience and watch others go through.
My friend? If I may, I want to share a few thoughts I’ve learned during my few years of struggling with self worth and finding peace with the way God has created me.
- Know the world’s standards versus God’s standard. There is a huge difference between the world’s standards and God’s standards. Which one are you focused on? The world tells us we’re not enough. We’re not skinny enough, we’re not fit enough, we’re not accomplished enough, etc, etc. It’s a never ending cycle of wanting more–and then even more. In other words, following the world never gives genuine satisfaction. For example, we would think that models, generally considered among the world’s most ‘beautiful’ people, would be truly confident in their appearance and be satisfied. However, research indicates models are among the most insecure… How counterintuitive huh… On the flip side, some of the most confident people I met have not even yet entered elementary school. Without a care in the world and without must exposure to the comparison trap that this world brings, little girls are able to be beautiful princesses and have the utmost confidence that they are enough because Jesus loves them. But what about us? What about you? How susceptible are we to the magazine covers, movies, and the seemingly perfect lives we see while scrolling through Instagram? The world tell us we’re not enough and points that out to us daily. But God’s standard is entirely different.
- It’s all about that heart. God focuses on the heart. One of my favorite bible verses is from 1 Samuel 16:7 and it reads, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Do you see that? Because we humans can only see the outward appearance, we look primarily at that. It’s safe to say we’re visual creatures. But the Almighty God we worship is so vastly different and so much greater. The God of the Universe looks at our heart. So instead of how big is your waist the question God asks is how big is your heart? Where are you in your relationship with God? I think it’s so cool how God saw all the attractive and strong brothers that David had but chose David because of his humble heart. What does this tell us? That God values the heart. In fact, in the KJV version of the bible, the word heart is mentioned 830 times. However, just because the heart is priority, it’s not to say you shouldn’t take care of your body. As the Bible clearly states, we are God’s holy temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). As a result, we should treat our bodies right and take good care of our earthly body. But the Bible states that God’s priority lies in our heart condition. And as followers of Christ who strive to model Jesus, we should try to follow that same model of first focusing on our heart. How much we love God and how much we love others around us.
- Know your true identity in Christ. Know who God says you are. So here’s the thing. You’re God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10 (my absolute favorite bible verse in the entire world ! ! ! ) states, “For you are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He prepared in advance for you to do.” Other versions of this same verse state that you are God’s handiwork. The God of the Universe and the creator of puppies, chick fil a, and all the beautiful nature around us, He hand created Y O U. That gives you incredible worth and value. You were made in the image of God Himself (Genesis 1:27). God is perfect. He’s amazing, He’s good, He’s faithful, He’s just. He’s Almighty and He’s all-powerful. He’s a God with an incredible amount of never ending love. You’re made in the image of that God. In addition, the process of creating you wasn’t ordinary either. Psalm 139:14 states, “I praise you Lord because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well” Fearfully and wonderfully. The process of creating you can be described as fearfully because it’s an awe worthy and magnificent process worthy of respect and reverence. Likewise, the process of creating you was also a wonderful one. You are worth it, You are beautiful. Satan will try and steal your joy by shouting lies at you telling you that you’re not worth it or that you’re not good enough. But the truth is this: You were made in the image of God and you’re absolutely worth it. Jesus died on your behalf 2,000 years ago to prove and show you His magnificent love. You’re worth it.
- Declare the God-given truths to yourself on the daily. This is something practical you can do and I highly, highly encourage you to do it. Make little notes for yourself, whether that be on a white board, your phone, post-it notes, whatever it is that will remind you of your true worth in Christ. You can even set notifications on your phone/laptop that will remind you of what God says about you. Remind yourself daily, at multiples points of the day and speak the truth about who you are. Because the world and the people in it can say a lot about you but at the end of the day the only opinion that matters is God’s.
So declare these truths with me:
- I am so deeply loved by the God of the Universe
- I am a fearfully and wonderfully made creation of God.
- My body is a temple of God and I will treat it as such.
- My worth is not found in the way I look. My worth is found in Christ alone.
- I am God’s handiwork and I have been made in the image of God.
You are so loved my friend, and I hope you know that always. I’m here if you want to talk.