She stood staring at herself in the full length mirror, turning every which way, as if a different angle would produce the results she required: Perfection.
She sucked in her stomach a little bit more and made a face at the one staring back at her in the mirror. If she skipped lunch today and ran an extra two miles tonight she could probably make up for the cookie she broke down and ate ten minutes ago…
“What are you doing?” She questioned with a sigh. She knew better. She knew this obsession she had with perfection wasn’t healthy. Her parents had taught her better. She knew looks weren’t everything, but she couldn’t help but think that maybe if she looked like the “ultimate girl,” then maybe everyone else wouldn’t notice all the other areas she thought she so clearly lacked.
A few years ago that girl was me. A few years ago, I felt so mediocre in so many other areas of my life that I thought if I was just pretty enough I could make up for everything else. And for a short season, I let image control my identity.
Maybe your struggle looks a little bit different than mine. Maybe your battle is with clothes and fashion, weights and protein shakes, or even steroids. Regardless, when you believe the lie that your image is all that you are, all that you’re worth, your identity is in constant jeopardy.
Because your weight will vary from day to day. Because some days you won’t feel like working out, or won’t have time. Because with this mindset of comparisons, enough is never going to be good enough.
Your identity becomes about whether or not you look better than them, what size jeans you wear, or the circumference of your bicep. It’s an identity based on performance, on recognition, on the “Oh you look good!” comments that will come and go.
But one thing that will never come and go is the love of your Saviour.
It took the realization that God loved me enough to form me in HIS image to get me to stop my cycle of self-destruction and self-loathing. I slowly began to realize that Christ died for me before I was even born. It had nothing to do with what I looked like in a dress, how much I did or didn’t eat or how far I ran. The compliments of the crowd would oscillate, but His presence and acceptance NEVER would.
He is the only constant. When your muscles shrink and your weight fluctuates, He won’t.
I’m not saying it’s easy to change mindsets you’ve conditioned yourself to believe. Often times it’s a long battle. But Jesus died for your freedom. You have been set free! He died so that you could know Him and so that you could plant your identity in a foundation that is stable. It’s an identity of promise, hope and healing.
It’s so easy to buy into the lie that we weren’t made in God’s image at all, but that instead we need to look like the image of supermodels, celebrities, and athletes.
You were not made in THEIR image. You were made in HIS image. His glorious image that never fades, never changes, never fluctuates, never ages, and is so majestic that Moses could not look Him in the face or he would die (Exodus 12:20).
THAT is the image you were created in. THAT is the identity that He wants you to invest everything in.
He formed you. He knows you. You were created for a purpose, every detail carefully carved and sculpted with powerful, live-altering love. His fingerprints are all over you.
Instead of looking at THEM, look to HIM.
Instead of asking them who they think you are, listen to who He SAYS you are.
You are the glorious image bearer of the King of the Universe and Creator of All.
Genesis 1:27- So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female he created them.
Psalm 139: 13-16- For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
About the author:
Coleen York is an ardent Jesus follower and writer (and she sometimes fancies herself a part-time comedienne). She is passionate about ministering to the hearts of women by showing them their true worth and identity in Christ alone. This passion led her to found She Has Worth, a website designed to reinforce the worth and beauty God has given each and every woman, regardless of her past or relationship status.