Have you ever felt a little under confident one day?
Maybe your jeans weren’t fitting, or you had a huge zit coming in on your face, and the last thing you wanted to do was to go out?
I would say we probably all have been there. I feel so often people use the phrases “You are created in God’s image” or “God knit you together in your mother’s womb” to be helpful, but they are sometimes hard to apply and relate to how we see ourselves.
But they are all absolutely true from God’s word (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:13).
The questions that I dealt with for the longest time as I struggled with body image and feeling “pretty/skinny/strong enough” was; How can I believe the truth that I am made in the image of God and still feel as though I am not enough? How is the feeling of disgust when I look in the mirror, supposed to go away when someone tells me I am made in God’s image?
The answer is those feelings don’t go away just like that. The next girl that myself and my friends describe as “perfect” walks by, or the cute boy doesn’t even glance in our direction, and those feelings of insignificance come back.
Not believing our true beauty or being comfortable with ourselves can affect every aspect of our lives in a harmful way. It can pick apart relationships with family, friends, or significant others. It can affect our school work, ability to serve, and our ability to love.
I say these things because I understand these things. This was my life for a few years.
That is because Satan is real, and his lies are powerful.
You know who is more powerful? Our Creator.
“Image of God”
A powerful truth we often hear is that we are made in the image of God. We can find in God’s word evidence of being made in His image, and that we are beautiful to Him.
For a long time throughout my life, those truths did not win over in my heart. The devil was winning in my mind and heart when it came to what I look like and the way I was created.
A big part of my perception was that I was not fully grasping what it meant to be “made in God’s image.”
Believing we are beautiful and being comfortable in our skin is something that comes from The Lord.
For a while, I knew that in my heart, but really I was looking in other places for confirmation about my appearance. My journey to find my satisfaction and beauty within Christ began when I truly started finding out for myself that being “Made in the image of God” is not only our physical being but also the beauty of our hearts.
That’s when I could begin to fully accept myself.
“Maybe confidence is rooted not in how we look but in something deeper, in who God is in us.” – Jordan Dooley, Soulscripts
HE IS SO GOOD:
In the book, Free to Be Me by Stasi Eldredge, Stasi says:
“It is a beautiful paradox that the more God’s we become, the more ourselves we become- The self he had in mind when he thought of you before the creation of the world. She is in there girls, she might be badly bruised and covered with all sorts of muck, but she is in there. And Jesus comes to call her out. The path is a dance between choosing and yielding, desiring and relinquishing, trying and giving up.”
PRAISE THE LORD, because I can tell you from my own life there is truth in those words. Within this past semester, especially this past month alone, I found that girl.
It was a hard journey to finding that girl again. It was definitely a dance of “choosing and yielding, desiring and relinquishing, trying and giving up.”
I will tell you that if you struggle with these things on a deep level, choosing to make a change and going through the hard stuff to get there is WORTH IT.
Jesus revives us into being who He has created us to be. AND JOY COMES OF IT.
I am going to share a few things for us to think about and ask ourselves when searching about what it means to be “Made in His Image.”:
GOD IS LOVE:
~ As God’s children, we are covered in His love. We have to begin to ask ourselves “What does being fully loved by God mean for me when I look at myself?”
~ When we are not fully loving ourselves, are we truly able to love others the way we were created to love?
~ When we do not love nor accept who we are, it can cause nasty feelings in our hearts toward others, and we become very critical to others.
“So, we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
“Image of God” is not a physical description
We cannot limit the idea of being made in the image of God to our physical being. Like the quote from Stasi says, when we become who we are in Christ, we will become comfortable with every part of ourselves, including the body God gave us.
When we truly understand this, the criticism of ourselves, and others goes away. There is no room in our hearts for those things when God’s truth consumes us, and we BELIEVE IT.
“And we have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:10
We are His Temple
You have all heard it before and I will say it again. Our bodies are God’s temples. God is literally dwelling inside of us.
If you built a house for somebody and they walk in, begin to talk about how many mistakes you made, and discuss all the changes they want to make about it; are you going to feel welcomed there? God does not make mistakes with His creation.
God is hurt when we tear apart what He so wonderfully created for Himself to dwell in. Do we want God dwelling in a heart and body that is not loved and taken care of?
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17
Have you ever tried looking in the mirror and just not thinking anything at all? Just accepting what is there? I will be the first one to tell you, IT IS NOT EASY.
But the more of Christ’s we become, “just being” becomes easier. All of the evil thoughts and self-hatred comes when we are still not fully surrendered to Christ, including what we look like.
Being able to just be is one of the most freeing experiences I have felt. The more we can just be and come to be comfortable with loving the way we are, the more room He has to shape every part of us.
“Think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3
God cares about how we feel about our appearance
It is important to remember that God UNDERSTANDS that we are not always going to feel beautiful or comfortable in our skin. If anyone understands, it is God.
God is not asking us to act like we do not care about looking good every once in awhile! THATS NORMAL. The problem is when we do not take captive those thoughts for Him. It is very easy to get caught up in image when we do not know who we are in Christ.
So, remember that he understands and He is calling us to bring it to His throne and find our beauty rooted in being His child.
Learning to love all that God has created you to be can be a long, hard journey when this world is constantly pulling us towards what they think we should look and act like.
A whole new outlook of the world came when I began to accept, be comfortable with, and love myself again. When we find who we are is only and ever deeply rooted in Christ, we can fully be used by God to serve Him to our best ability.