We are bombarded every where we turn with images and articles that communicate to us what we should look like. Whether we are sitting in front of the television set or standing in line at the grocery store, images are constantly coming at us and they have a very powerful effect on how we see our self and on how we think we should look.
The fact is, the advertising industry in many ways, is responsible for creating some of the insecurities we as women face on a daily basis, pressuring us to maintain a level of beauty standard that is literally impossible (for most).
The models in the ads are thin and beautiful. They have shiny, bouncy hair, perfect skin, perfect teeth and are proportionately perfect from head to toe. No one talks about photo shop and airbrushing.
The dental industry experienced a profit boom when people learned they could have whiter smiles in a matter of days. There has been an enormous increase in the number of gyms and workout centres around the world as their ads beckon us to have flatter tummies, firmer butts and sexier bodies.
There is plastic surgery for thicker lips, higher cheek bones and larger breasts. Imagine we can have butt implants!
Women and young girls gravitate towards celebrities who appear to have the exceptional and popular body parts.
I recently saw an article with the headline "Kate Middleton drops jaws, proving Prince William is a lucky man." It was a slide show of the Princess in some of the beautiful outfits she has worn publicly with her husband. I have nothing against the lovely Kate but I wondered at the time how sad it is that we are given the impression that our men are "lucky" if their wives are 99lbs, wears high fashion and looks perfect.
For centuries now, culture tells us we need to be above average to feel good about our self, so we measure our self against the images swirling around us, against the success, the riches and even the popularity of others.
Many of us grew up in unhealthy environments where ugly words, abuse, neglect or rejection has negatively impacted how we see ourselves. Our own critical attitude, engraved in us from these experiences, has become our worse enemy and when combined with the tarnished views of society, threatens to become the voice that destroys our personal value and the core of who we are.
So.....how do we know our true value and self worth?
Understanding our self worth means loving our self and that means understanding and accepting God's love for us.
God created us all perfect in His eyes, not only that, but we are created in His image. However, over time, that image got eroded by all the things I just mentioned above. What we then need to do is go back and rebuild our worth based on what God says about us and how He sees us.
This means working extra hard at tuning out the images and voice of society and at times even our own, and tune our self in to hearing God's voice.
The voice of God speaks very loudly through His word.
"For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Son,...." John 3:16
Wow!!!!! For God so loved you and me, He gave His only Son for us!!!!
A love so great, He gave His only Son as the sacrificial Lamb in order to restore a relationship we broke through sin.
Is that love or what?
Clearly not dependant on who we are and clearly not based on anything we have done or could ever do and certainly not on what we look like!
"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
From this starting point we can then saturate our minds with the truth of God's word so we can appreciate and love the person who God made in us.
Friends, we need to take captive the ungodly lies in our head and allow God to heal us from the things in our past that keeps us from seeing our true worth and value.
Let us stop measuring our worth against negative experiences and past failures; against unrealistic and unattainable standards.
Seek His forgiveness where needed. Yes, some of us hate our self for mistakes or wrong choices made in the past. This hinders our ability to love our self but it in no way hinders God from loving us.
Let us allow Christ's unconditional love and forgiveness to become a part of who we are, transforming us into becoming more like Him. When that happens we have value without measure because then "we are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus."