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By Sheila L. Jackson

If you would just take a moment out of your busy schedule to watch

and observe the people that you come in contact with from day to day, you

might see that many of them are suffering from depression, an identity

crisis, and/or weight issues. You do not have to be a psychologist to realize

that something has gone terribly wrong in the world in which you live.

More than ever, people are confused as to who they are and what is considered

to be beautiful. Even the television shows and magazines are consumed

with issues of this nature. You see what the world wants you to see

and feel about yourself. You have been programmed and brainwashed into

the world’s system of beauty.

Drug addicts and alcoholics in Hollywood are setting false examples of

what real beauty is, when in reality, most of them are not happy with who

they are. If they were, rehabilitation centers would not be accepting them at

an alarming rate.

We have allowed celebrities who are breaking the law, driving drunk,

having babies out of wedlock, engaging in high profile infidelity, pill popping,

and getting intoxicated to set the standards of beauty for us. Has

anyone taken notice? These are the things that are captivating our young

impressionable kids. They are growing up in a society that cares more about

their rib cages showing through their skin than looking healthy and fit.

These are the images that our children are being exposed to everyday, and

we wonder why they are dying to be thin, hip, and cool. What they see

when they are looking at their favorite celebrities are those who are starving

themselves with unsuccessful fad diets or causing themselves to vomit so

they can fit into a size zero.

Society has become overly obsessed with self-image until it has resulted

in people taking extreme measures to be perfect and to meet standards that

are unobtainable. In the past, it appeared as though women were the only

ones that struggled with a low self-image, but today men are quickly following

the trail behind them.

Why can’t we see ourselves as God does? We are beautiful just the way

we are. True, we all want to better ourselves or to change something about

our appearances. Although as we grow in Christ, change is expected of us,

that change is inward.

God loves your big hips, your thick or thin lips, your straight or nappy hair, big or small body frame, and white or black, red or yellow complexion.

He loves you. You are His creation, His masterpiece, designed for His pleasure

and enjoyment. God did not waste His time when He sculpted and

molded you in His image. So, why have you allowed man to tell you that

you are less than God’s best?

But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself—you

are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God very own—

all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the

darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were less than nothing; now

you are God’s own. Once you knew very little of God’s kindness; now

your very lives have been changed by it (I Peter 2:9-10, TLB).

Do not allow people to make you feel as though you are nothing. God

has called you out to be so much more—more than what you could ever

imagine for yourself. When people try to make you feel small and unimportant,

know that such a lie is one of Satan’s tricks. He uses those who are

closest to you to make you look at yourself in a negative way. Whatever

negative comments people make about you and your appearance, remember

that God said, “You are not like that.” He sees the beauty and the potential

that lies beneath the poor self-image that you have of yourself. When God

called you into a royal priesthood, He wanted you to know what you are

worth to Him. He has chosen you to be the peculiar one—strange to the

world but unique to Him.

Your thinning hairline down to the rolls on your belly is no accidents

to God. He knew what He wanted you to look like before you were born.

He did not plan on everyone looking exactly the same. You are skipping

meals and over exercising to fit an image that someone else has chosen for

you. Each time you look into the mirror at yourself, you sink further and

further into depression. In your mind, you feel that you do not measure up

to everyone else. If the truth be told, no one measures up to man’s standards,

and neither does the man or woman who set those unobtainable

standards.

We are a society that has become consumed with beauty and perfection

until we have forgotten who the only perfect One really is —Jesus. No one

will ever top the perfect Lamb of God. We may snip, tuck, and clip parts of

our body; but we will never reach perfection as long as we live here on earth.

Measure your self-worth and beauty by God’s standards. Man’s standards

will cause you to have low self-esteem issues and feelings of inadequacy.

It may even cause you to have suicidal thoughts. But the person that

sees him or herself as God does, sees him or herself as beautiful even

though they may have flaws. Their imperfection does not control the way

they see themselves.

You are a diamond in the rough. There is no one exactly like you—the

mold was broken when you were created. Only when you see yourself as

God sees you will you love the image that you see staring back at you in the

mirror. You will never see yourself as beautiful or unique until you can see

yourself clearly through the eyes of God.

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