Thursday, December 13, 2012

True Beauty, and a Shattered Self-Esteem

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:3-4

As I've shared before, these past three years have been a little rough for me self-esteem wise.  My hair has fallen out, I've had three back to back pregnancies, and my cystic acne is worse now than when I was a teenager.  It's been so easy to feel like a failure as a woman, and a failure as a wife.  I know I'm not the only insecure one out there.

For the past year I've slowly been working on a Biblical study of beauty, it's been hard but I'd like to share a little bit with you now.  I'd love to eventually make this a full book, but we'll see how it goes ; )

You walk down your hallway, and it catches your eye.  You’ve been avoiding it all day, but now there’s no ignoring it.  Walking over to your mirror you cautiously peer into its silver depths, and dislike hate what you see. 

Maybe it’s your round face, a stray eyebrow (as my mother calls them) above your lip, or a pimple in the worst possible place.  Maybe you see lumps and bumps under your clothes that weren’t there ten years ago, or maybe you’ve never liked your shape.  You might think your skin is too pale, or too dark, maybe it’s blotchy.  Perhaps you think your knees are too knobby and your calves too chubby.  It could be that you’re too short, or perhaps too tall.  Chances are when you look in the mirror there will be something that you don’t like.

You wonder how Narcissus couldn’t stop looking at his reflection, when the sight of yours makes want to run and hide.  After looking at yourself in the mirror your perfectly good day suddenly turns sour.  Gazing upon your reflection brings back insecurities from years past, and sometimes looking at it might even bring tears to your eyes.  You think about the women who keep sheets over their mirrors, and consider for a moment doing the same to yours.

Logically when I pass by the mirror I know that my body has done absolutely amazing things, chief of which is bringing 3 children into this world.  I can logically know I am healthy and have a lot to be incredibly grateful for; but there are times when I look in the mirror and it just hurts.  Taunts from the elementary schoolyard ring in my ears, jealousy of women I wish I looked like flares up, and in that moment I hate my 

The truth is though, we are not the only ones who hate what we see in the mirror.  There is someone who in fact hates our reflections more than we ever could.   

That someone of course is Satan.

Lucifer was created as a beautiful Angel of light covered in precious stones.  And as beautiful as Lucifer was, he wasn’t made in God’s image, and was not His greatest creation.  Mankind however is both, and Satan hates it.

When Satan sees our reflections in the mirror, the chubby thighs, double chins, saggy backsides, extra weight, and minuscule imperfections that we hate so much, Satan hates too.  Satan however doesn’t hate our reflections because they don’t measure up to some Madison Avenue ideal.  No, Satan hates our reflections because every aspect reminds him of the Creator that he so vehemently detests.

Let that sink in a moment: Satan hates our reflections, because we remind him of God! 

We are made in God’s image.  We are His most precious creation.  When we look in the mirror and hate what we see, we detest something that was made after God’s own glorious, perfect image.

You deserve to see yourself as the beautiful creation, made after the image of God that you are.  That is how Satan sees you, and he hates it.  That is how we should see ourselves and celebrate it.

Imagine yourself free from insecurity.  Imagine never again getting intensely depressed when you look into the mirror.  Emboldened by this truth, set free from this plague, what does your walk with God look like?  Are you more effective in his service?  Are you able to draw from the Lord's strength or are you held back by insecurities?

You were made in the image of God, see it and celebrate it.

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