There is a part of me that feels so very human, it’s frightening. It is the one thing that has the ability to trip me up, to push me to second guess myself and my relationships, and to constrict all of my God-ordained confidence into a tiny, useless box of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
Body image. Self image. The person I see when I look in the mirror.
Here’s the problem with me not loving me: I am made in God’s image.
When I verbally assault myself, I am, by default, insulting my Creator. Psalm 139 leaves me breathless. Let me just drop verses 13-18 here for you to read, meditate on, and absorb:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered. I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
Dudes. Dudettes. We are God’s workmanship! Allow me to define that term for you: handiwork, achievement, masterpiece. We, each of us, are God’s masterpiece. Individually. Uniquely. Each of us created to be perfectly us-the one and only.
Notice how the writer of Psalm 139 declares our complexity as the thing of awe? Not our weight! Not our shoe size or hair color or propensity to gain weight in that stubborn region just above the band of our jeans. He is praising that we were created complex! In God’s own image, none the less.
In fact, let’s travel all the way back to Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” And in verse 31, he surveys his workmanship and deems it all “very good.” So good, the good thoughts he has about us- each of us, on our own, in our own skin- is more than the grains of sand. Impossible to count, never-ending, as infinite as God Himself.
What then gives me, you, any of us, the right to declare that we’re not good enough? Beautiful enough? Thin, pretty, attractive enough? We are in His majestic likeness! We are descendants of perfection!
There is no one more you than you. No one will ever be you, be able to fill your specific role on this earth, or reach the people that you are able to influence. You may very well be the only Jesus someone in your network of influence ever sees… that makes you a very important person. Ridiculously important. More important, even, than your weight or your body type. More important than the length of your nose or the wrinkles around your eyes.
God doesn’t look at you and see what’s on the outside. He didn’t favor the size 0 blue eyed blonde sitting beside you in church and leave you, size 12 crazy curly brown haired you, to be in her shadow. No. He created both images to reflect parts of himself. It is man, not God, who decided one was more attractive than the other. But God? He built the complexity that is your functioning body with love, tenderness, and an abundance of awe inspiring care.
Girl, your beauty cannot be contained in your body. #canIgetanAmen? It was made to give this often dark and scary world the glow of God himself! Take James 3:9 at face value, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” That’s us, you and me. We cannot praise God and continue to abuse ourselves. We must choose, one or the other.
Which will you choose today?