Recently I was having a conversation with my friend Zaneta and she said to me that she’s glad she’s not a teenager in this time. She said this because of the pressures that come with it, eye brows having to be on fleek, maintaining a social media image, etc. This had me thinking how true it was. In our teens there were pressures however, with the lack of social media, these things weren’t in our faces as much as they are for the teens of today.
The sad reality is that society places a great emphasis on outward appearances and not on inward appearances. So much so that people are willing to spend thousands, millions even, on surgeries in order to be “beautiful” and this is now what our young girls (and even older women) are measuring themselves up to and often finding that they fall short.
“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…“
Growing up I struggled with self esteem issues because of societies standards that I didn’t seem to measure up to. I was teased because I was taller than every one in almost all my classes. I remember being teased because my teeth were spacious. Someone at camp called me “scatta teeth”, never mind the fact that it was the lamest name anyone could come up with, people laughed and I was made to hate the spaces in my mouth. I’m very happy there was no Instagram because I’d probably be depressed.
True beauty lies within. The Lord looks at the heart while man looks at the outward appearance. 1 Samuel 16:7 says 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.” A practical example: I’ve seen fruits looking good on the outside but when I get to the inside they were rotten, of no use. So it is for many who we see flexing on the gram. They have the right tools to show the desired lifestyle but we never see the full image.
I came to love myself after years of struggling to get to this place. Once I started believing God’s words about me I felt differently, I no longer cared what people had to say or think about me. He said that I am His child (Galatians 3:26), a royal priesthood a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9) and I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Over time I no longer based my acceptance of myself on the world’s standards but on the truths of God, which didn’t happen over night. I had to renew my mind with His truths (Romans 12:2) to become secure, confident and content with the way He made me. I know he values me and sees my beauty even if my eyebrows aren’t on fleek. I no longer hold on to the opinions of others nor do I seek their approval.
It’s dangerous to compare ourselves to others because whenever we do this, we will always find some things that we don’t have or like about ourselves. It has the potential to cause us to be bitter and envious of what others have or to be filled with pride because of what we have. Either way, it’s not good.
No matter what they say, you are beautiful the way you are and you have great worth! You don’t have to change anything about yourself to be accepted by this world because God looks at the heart. He accepts and loves you just as you are! Allow Him to renew your mind through His Word. It may be painful and uncomfortable, but as I said in a previous post, trust the process because you will come out as the masterpiece He is designing you to be.
Always remember Psalm 139:14a
“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”