Before reading this, check out part 1 here.
The “Cure” that Fuels the Disease
The struggle for self-esteem and confidence is a worldwide battle for people- especially us ladies. God blessed us with an eye for beauty. I challenge you to use that love for beauty as He intended.
“You are free, you are powerful, you are good, you are love, you have value, you have a purpose. All is well.” (lifehack.org)
The world has plenty of “cures” for your self-hatred or self-esteem struggles. They post feel good quotes (like the one above) all over the place and encourage our pride. I’ve noticed something weird about their cure. First of all, it doesn’t really help (those quotes won’t make my acne disappear). Second, it kind of makes the struggle worse. Telling myself I’m beautiful kind of misses the point. Let me explain.
I struggle the most with self-confidence when I’m thinking about myself. Maybe I’ll feel confident for a day, but the next I’ll feel ugly, forgotten, and unloved. This roller coaster comes when I focus on myself. My emotions and appearance are constantly changing, so when I put my confidence in how I feel and look, I never find true stability- just highs and lows.
I see the same thing in Christian circles. If we speak Bible verses about our value to each other to boost confidence but never point the attention back on God (like the verses are meant to do), it only keeps the roller coaster on its track (I think this metaphor is failing… :P… but the point:). Are we just copying the world?
Humility and A Change of Focus
When you remember God’s love for you, don’t take that to mean you’re the center of the universe. Let God’s amazing love humble you.
We are sinners. Sometimes I get so caught up in “doing good things” that I forget Who is enabling me to do good in the first place. God has been faithful to open my eyes to my own sinfulness when I think I’m doing “okay”. I thank God that he shows me myself little by little and then uses my despair to bring me right back to his power and mercy. When we realize our true state before God, his unconditional love will humble us and make us realize the debt we can never repay. The mercy we could never earn. The love he gave freely.
If we believe God – the One and Only, powerful, loving, righteous, just God – truly deserves praise, we will praise Him. We won’t be vying for attention, but we’ll instead be looking to point others to God. We won’t be questioning the way He made us because we’ll realize He’s the One who made us! He is the One who never changes, He is the One who knows (and does) what is BEST for His creation.
Of course, believing God’s love and wanting his glory are both things we cannot do on our own. We have to choose to believe and glorify God every day and then ask him to change our hearts and actions to do so.
Looking to Jesus
I said earlier that I want you to use your love for beauty the way God wants you to. Here’s what I mean:
I think we see our imperfections for a reason. We desire beauty, we look for perfection. And we get disappointed when we don’t find it in ourselves. Instead of trying to find that in ourselves, I think God gave us that hunger so we look back to Him. He is the perfection we want so badly.
Every time you can’t get rid of that insecurity, look to Christ, the perfection who makes us all whole.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2, bold added, Bible Gateway.com).”
What is something practical you can do to turn your focus back on Jesus the next time you feel insecure?
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Related: A Change of Focus
Suggested: The Place for Joy in a Crisis