By Josh Kerby
Do you ever take a selfie of yourself, look at it and think, “That’s not good enough.” You end up deleting it and take another, and then another, and then another. You might have taken five, ten, maybe fifteen selfies before you think it was good enough. You adjust the angle a little each time, fix the hair, maybe you redo your makeup or take it in such a way it makes your muscles look better, and then we take that photo and put a filter on it. Maybe a filter to make our eyes pop or to remove the blemishes on our skin. The point is you weren’t satisfied with the first photo, but I think the first photo is the more real version of you, the rawest image, and the most original. Why do we feel like we have to look a certain way all the time? We believe there is a standard to the way a person should look and if we don’t fit into that mold than we aren’t good enough.
When we take students on weeklong trips, they get dirty, sweaty, and some would say gross. I have heard some of the girls say they feel naked without their makeup on and the guys who have to shower both morning and evening and wear a clean pair of clothes every day. I have nothing against showers, makeup, or clean clothes, but when it becomes your image, and you think you have no value without these things, then I have a problem. Most of the time, these students begin to realize that their worth is found in who they are and not how they look. I have had multiple conversations with students who struggle with their self-image, and they can’t determine where it started, but they feel pressured by the social norm and Hollywood. I ask them what is more important, what God thinks about them or what society says you have to be. They always say that what God says is more important. I can see they are more at ease and sit up a little taller when they say this. They realize that God is proud of who they are and He thinks they are beautiful.
Each year, it’s blasted on TV who the hottest person in Hollywood is. This right here is a social bar set on the world of how you should look, and it is often unhealthy to achieve it. If it were blasted on TV that God loves you and He thinks you are beautiful, you wouldn’t care what others thought. We would be confident in our image and ourselves. We would bare it proudly. If we also started looking at others the same way God looks at them, we would see more beauty and love. So, what does God say about us?
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” – 1 John 3:1
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.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
God says we are made in His image, we are His children, and He looks at our heart and not our figure. How could we think of ourselves as not beautiful when we are made in the image of God? How could we see others as ugly when they are Children of God? How could we possibly be more concerned with our outside appearance when God only looks at the Heart? Don’t let this world fool you. You are gorgeous. You are Beautiful. You are the apple of God’s eye. You are His child. You are loved. God is proud of you and wants to display you for all to see. He wants to introduce you to everyone and say with pride in His voice, “This is my beautiful child whom I love dearly.” Stop comparing yourself to the world and start living in the truth of who God says you are, His beautiful, beloved, and precious child.
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