Let me hazard three guesses:
- You do! I am pleased to meet you!
2. You do not!! (Or at least, not anymore). It is still a pleasure to meet you.
3. You are uncertain about how your look makes you feel? Even that; happy to make your acquaintance!!
In whatever category you fall in, or oscillate across, we can compare notes. Although your reason(s) may differ from mine, but like you (and many of us), what you feel is universal. These insecurities – mild or major – robbing us of our confidence, are common.
No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].1 Corinthians. 10:13 Amplified
It would be unfair to only limit this sense of contradiction to physical looks. In reality, many people struggle in one measure or another to come to terms with what constitutes the combination of our personality, our structural make up, and our mental core.
The source? The enemy of our souls. The enemy is constantly at war within and around us to reduce our worth. Can we afford to be bound in his cage? No, we cannot.
So Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “If you continue to accept and obey my teaching, you are really my followers. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32 ERV
That said, I will let you in on how I transitioned from one side of the coin to the other. My liberation account. Better described as my continuing liberation journey. Again, it’s not only me.
The Power of Information
I armed myself with information. It is the sort of information that you must know and re-know. Actually, those whom you admire, who glide seamlessly in self-affirmation, already know the value of appropriating superior information over wavering feelings.
When I look myself in the mirror, hear myself, or engage my mind in conversations, many times, I don’t like what I see, hear and feel. But the answer has got to be in God – my creator. The question of Who am I? Why am I like this? What makes me special? etc. begged my understanding. Then I searched.
Depending on whose spectacles you are using, how you see yourself, and how you perceive that others see you will only be clear when you wear the lenses of the one who determined your placement on this side of heaven.
David, looking from God’s lenses said,
“I praise you because you made me in such a wonderful way. I know how amazing that was!” Psalm 139:14 ERV
Psalm 139:13-16 Message: Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day”
Did you catch the attitude there?
The Attitude of Gratitude
After information, is the attitude of gratitude. I thank you. I praise you. I acknowledge that you have done well and know what you are doing.
Genesis 1:27, 31 (NKJV) So God created man in His own image …Then God saw everything That He made, and indeed it was very good
For a believer in Jesus Christ, this is one more thing that you cannot exclude from the salvation package. The just is called to live by faith in God. We must hang our essence on something above physical tangibility. It is temporal. God’s Word is eternal and immutable. He said “indeed it was very good”.
The power of validation
Many times in a day, you will do things to check, fix, cover up, or ask others about your looks. You will drift to focus on flaws that seem minor to others.
Consider these two validation approaches, and they will be of help.
- Internal approach: Say “No” to your inner critic – the enemy (Satan).
“We tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5 ERV
You may have picked up bad experiences as a child, but now that you are grown, understand that you are different. And that is on purpose! Focus on who you are inside. You should practice how to identify the pure part of yourself by looking inside you, and at the qualities that are profoundly good. They don’t come from things other than who you truly are in God. What is being accomplished in your life daily, should enable you validate yourself that “I am who God says I am”.
- External Approach: Spend your precious time with supportive and positive people; people of faith who affirm God in your life. A negative attitude can be contagious.
Don’t fool yourself, bad company corrupts good manners 1 Corinthians 15:33
Dress in clothes that fit you and make you feel good about yourself. However, try not to hide under mere outward adornment. Rather, address the heart. It is from the heart that the issues of life emanate. The hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a meek and quiet spirit is very precious in the sight of God. Meekness is calm confidence and settled assurance. It is the tranquil stillness of a heart that is at rest in Christ.
In Christ, you will find your true self! It is waiting to be discovered.