On one hand I love social media for lots of inspiration and boosts to my own style and creativity, but lately it has become a place of insecurity and self-doubt for me.
“How is her skin so clear ALL the time?”
“Why doesn’t my hair curl like that?”
“Why do I have negative hips even though I’ve been sumo squatting like an idiot for months?”
Why are the pettiest most trivial things that have no impact on eternity getting so much airplay in my mind?? I’ve always thought of these as harmless thoughts until I sensed my attitude changing about how I was viewing myself. I noticed a significant increase in the amount of money I was spending on my outward appearance. I started negatively questioning myself more than I ever did and even as a mom I was beginning to feel inferior. Although these thoughts may make me sound superficial, I know I’m not the only one battling with thoughts of inferiority.
But I also know doubt and self-deprecation are works of the enemy to keep us from God’s purpose, so I had to get in the Word to really check myself. What does scripture say about how we should view ourselves and what truly makes us beautiful? I think we all could use a reminder.
When we take it back to the first woman of all creation, you know the one who got our wombs cursed to an eternity of PMS and excruciating childbirth (LOL), I always think about what God would have expected of her in the place of what she actually did. In the third chapter of Genesis, we see the serpent deceive Eve by planting seeds of doubt about what God has already given her—as if it weren’t enough.
If Eve were as confident as God wanted her to be in who she was and who she belonged to, the devil never would have been able to penetrate her heart with doubt. I imagine she would have said something like, “Um, no stupid! I’m not eating that kiwi. Do you know who actually breathed life into my lungs? Who actually formed me from my husband’s rib?” I mean it literally says two chapters before: “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them (Gen. 1:27).” If Eve trusted and defended the heart of God the way He intended for her to, she wouldn’t have given into the advances of Satan and we would never know the sting of doubt in our own lives.
But we do, because she did. She ate the fruit, gave it to Adam, then they both were full of shame and doubt. But just because she gave into self-doubt doesn’t mean we have to continually make that same mistake and live in that place forever—actually Jesus Christ died on the cross for this very reason. I genuinely believe God wants us to call Satan the idiot he is every time he tries to make us believe we are less than God’s beautiful masterpiece, made in his image. God didn’t design Eve to bear shame and doubt, and he didn’t design me and you that way either. He designed us to delight in Him and glorify Him with all of what He created us as because He is glorified in our uniqueness.
And truthfully, although our features were designed with purpose, it is our pride that makes us believe we should look a certain way or obsess over ourselves to the point of distraction. We like to look nice because we like to feel good about ourselves but I know that in the grand scheme of life (and death) God could care less about what we wear, how we look, and the texture or shade of our hair.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.’” –1 Samuel 16:7
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” –Proverbs 31:30
What was my heart showing? Was I focused on pleasing the Lord, or whether I look like I have it all together? And who was I trying to impress? What was I trying to prove?
Paul famously said:
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” –Galations 1:10
Needless to say, God took no time checking me and made two things obvious (Italics is Him snapping on me, lol):
- Everybody has struggle days, but how selfish and self-consumed could I be to see all the people hurting in the world right now and only be thinking about the zit on my face? And don’t just be grateful for what you have because you don’t have it as bad as them; truly put yourself in their shoes and lend your heart to their trouble. Loving your neighbor means to empathize with their pain and to pray earnestly for them. After seriously praying for others and having my heart break for them, I genuinely did not care anything about my appearance and I felt foolish for wasting time on those thoughts when spiritual work in and out of my home needed to be done.
- I wasn’t as focused as I was determined to be. What had I accomplished this week that I could afford to be in a funk about my appearance? Had I made any substantial breakthrough on what I was supposed to be doing? No? Oh, then stop wasting time on your pity procrastination party and get to work. You’re distracted after scrolling through Instagram for thirty minutes and now the enemy is running rampant through your mind because your eyes are off of what’s important—I wasn’t seeking the truth of the kingdom because I was obsessing over myself.
And none of this is to say we can’t look nice or care about looking beautiful—everybody wants to look good and that’s just a fact of life (obviously, this IS a beauty blog!), but doubting your physical beauty and uniqueness is just the first trap by the enemy to lead you to doubting yourself in every other area. It takes over every thought by making you self-conscious and dimming your confidence. Not to mention, it puts the focus on YOU and what you look like, when God stresses to us that HE is the most beautiful and worthy of praise.
It also makes us forget that we are so valuable to God:
“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God
And crowned them with glory and honor.” –Psalm 8:3-5
“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” –Matthew 10:29-31
If God made us in His image and appointed us to govern over all He created, why are we so gullible to believe we aren’t good enough, or pretty enough, or equipped enough? Especially as women and mothers—all of creation is birthed from our wombs. That is SO powerful that God carries out his work through us. So why do we question anything about ourselves?
My goal when I started writing this was for whoever would read this to know that as trivial as our self-doubt may seem or start out as—it is designed to undermine everything God wants us to realize about ourselves. I wouldn’t even be talking about this if it wasn’t something I deal with myself, but after writing about it, I can see the harm it has caused for me and I’m committed to putting a halt to that.
So what about what God gave you are you believing isn’t enough? Is it the way you look or do you think your purpose or season isn’t enough? God made you, with all your hang ups, on purpose! So take your eyes off yourself and become consumed with how you can use what you have to truly serve God’s mission on earth.