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I’m still amazed at how the enemy reaches the majority of us by pointing out our imperfections even after knowing what the truth really says about us. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, so I want to take a passage from my book, Perfect You: Realizing Your Perfection in an Imperfect World.
How you view yourself affects more than you realize. It can affect your success, happiness, and believe it or not it can affect how other people view you. God wants you to be confident in the perfect creation you are. He placed a lot of time and thought into how to create you. What is it that makes you think he just threw you together without even a thought or that he messed up or forgot something?
You are a Masterpiece
What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, “Stop, you’re doing it wrong!”
Does the pot exclaim, “How clumsy can you be?”
How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, “Why was I born?”
or if it said to its mother, “Why did you make me this way?”
This is what the Lord says—the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?”
Isaiah 45:9-11 NLT
As girls, we look at ourselves in the mirror to determine whether we are beautiful or not. How often do we stand in front of the mirror figuring out what we need to change? We look at what parts of our bodies need to be more developed and what parts we need to lose. My nose is too big. My hair is too dark. My waist isn’t small enough. In whose eyes are all these things true?
Media is often blamed for this way of thinking. Certain magazines, TV shows, and movies confirm these thoughts. But the media shouldn’t take all the blame for our poor self-image. Who chose media as the voice of the world?
The Bible says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Do not be deceived by him. Your Daddy God will never speak those lies to you. Satan has been called “the god of the world.” Our world is becoming more corrupt by the minute. The enemy uses many tools to guide us away from God’s teaching, and media is one of the easiest and strongest ways to take our focus away from God’s truth. It often sucks us in without our realizing it. God tells us to guard our hearts and take every thought captive that goes against his teaching (2 Cor. 10:5). Satan is smart. Don’t underestimate what he can do. If he wraps those thoughts and images in a cute little package, we are likely to get pulled in toward him and away from God.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NLT
So many times I’ve heard this Scripture, and I’ve not given it a second thought because I’d heard it so often and felt I knew it well. Recently, I stopped and really absorbed what it was telling me. God says to fix our thoughts on him. Don’t fix your thoughts on things that are not true. All those negative thoughts you have about your appearance are nothing but lies. They are not things to fix your thoughts on. When you do that, you will find yourself falling into a trap.
The only weapon the enemy has against you is the ability to lie. He lies to break down your confidence, and he uses whatever he can to convince you that his lies are truth. Media is all around you, so it’s the easiest way to get his word out, but it’s not all bad. You just need to have an awareness of the things you’re allowing in.
Does that mean you can’t watch movies, listen to music, or read your favorite magazines anymore? Absolutely not.
I used to enjoy reading a particular popular magazine, and I never understood why some Christians thought it was so bad. But as I spent more time with God, I noticed that his desires were becoming my own. My desire to look at that magazine or watch certain movies started fading. Before I knew it, I was repulsed by some of the same movies I had been watching for years. Those “fun” things weren’t as much fun as my relationship with God grew stronger.
I picked up my favorite magazine at a bookstore one day and sat down to read through it. Everything in there was about sex or how to fix physical imperfections. No wonder I had always had a horrible self-image. Reading that one magazine, I began feeling my self-image issues come back. All the attributes required to have a “perfect” body, according to that magazine, were things I lacked. According to that magazine, everything about my body was imperfect. My old thoughts, again, became louder than the voice of truth. It’s amazing how quickly Satan can work. It is easy to fall into Satan’s trap without even realizing it.
I challenge you to follow Philippians 4:8 and fix your thoughts on the truth God has laid out for you. Before reading, listening to, or watching anything, consider if it follows God’s Word. If it doesn’t, change the station or choose a different movie or forego the magazine. See if you begin to view yourself differently than you did before.
Almost every girl I’ve worked with as a teacher and youth leader over the years has struggled with self-esteem in one way or another. The images surrounding you daily of what perfection looks like are skewed. We look at models to show us what perfection looks like, but pictures of models are airbrushed and touched up. How can you strive to be perfect when perfect doesn’t exist? It’s unattainable. Yet girls literally kill themselves trying to reach this type of perfection.
Today, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and answer this question, “What makes you perfect?” Go ahead and write down your answers. Ask God to help you answer that question.
Lies You Tell Yourself