1. It’s A-Okay to Be Pretty and Tidy…Before I begin, I want to say that it is important to keep yourself healthy, clean, and tidy. In fact, we glorify God when we take care of our bodies. (1 Corinth. 6:19)
2. …But It’s Not Okay to OBSESSSadly, many of us fall into this category. I’ve found that when I obsess over my appearance because of boys, reputation, insecurity etc., I tend to become even more insecure, forget that my identity is found in Jesus, and idolize myself and/or what I’m seeking after. Get honest with yourself. How much time do you spend in the morning on your hair and makeup? How often do you look in the mirror? If you are answering “a lot”, then ask yourself another question: why?
3. Why is It So Bad?Besides dangerous eating disorders, wasted time, and lopsided priorities, there is another very important reason to think twice about continuing on with your insecurities and obsessions… God made us and called us good (Gen 2). And even though we have sinned, we are still made by God and made in His image. I want you to think about that for a second. The One who created the stars, seas, and animals, the planets, trees, and deserts made me and you! Isn’t that kind of mind-boggling?? God made you the way He wanted you to be, and He doesn’t make mistakes. When we obsess over every “imperfection” or what we think is “ugly” about our bodies, we are basically telling God, “You didn’t make me good enough!” Isn’t that so sad? I don’t want to be rebuking God!!! Besides, isn’t that sin? I’m going to tell you a quick story. Have you ever heard of Amy Carmichael? She was a missionary to India, and she rescued many of the girls there who were slaves in the Hindu temples. Anyway, when she was a girl, she hated having brown eyes. She desperately wanted blue eyes, and I believe she even asked God to change the color of her eyes! But her eyes stayed brown. Fast forward into the future, she became a missionary to India. The only way she could blend in with the people there and be allowed in the temples was if she had dark eyes. If she had had blue eyes, she would have stood out as a foreigner, and her work would be more difficult or not as effective. That was a very condensed version of the story, but you get the idea.😉 So you see, God can even use what we call an imperfection for His kingdom!
4. But How?There isn’t really a step-by-step, perfect, and solve-it-all checklist. This is a heart issue First, pray and ask God for help. You (and no one else) can do anything without God’s strength. Also, look in His Word for what He says about beauty and value. There are also some great books and devotionals out there. I recently started a book called Flourish: How the Love of God Frees Us From Self-Focus. Second, get the focus off yourself. Help others and serve in your family, friend-circle, community, church etc. Third, think of yourself less. This is a hard one for me. You’re going to have to let go of your reputation and work for God alone. I love this quote by C.S. Lewis:
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” ― CS LewisFourth, don’t “fear man”. What other people think of you doesn’t matter in the long run. What God thinks is far more important. I find Matthew 10:26-28 to be a great reminder for this. Fifth, be thankful. Whether it is by using a thankfulness journal or by sharing with your friends how God is working in your life, thankfulness is a key helper in battling discontentment. What steps are you going to take today to think of yourself less and to get rid of the burden of your insecurities?