The Mirror Struggle-borrowed from Stephanie ;.)) Something I think we should all hear sometimes as a reminder:
I follow a great blog, shehasworth.com. Today I came across this little gem and boy was I convicted. Me, who struggles with intense materialism, but can literally quote you the people.com headlines needed this today. I have made certain restrictions in my life to protect myself from "entertainment" that breeds materialism but this was a reminder that even in those places I don't realize awaits distractions from the will of God.
"Are you happy with the way you look? Do you often feel unsatisfied and continually spend money, time, and energy while going on crash diets, spending your rent on a new purse… all the while scraping money to get your hair done in an attempt to maintain your self image? You walk into rooms and no matter what you have on or how you look—you have this sinking feeling like you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, tall enough, small enough and you sure don’t make as much money as those around you. You feel stupid even going into certain stores because one shirt is the price of your car payment. You constantly beat yourself down from head to toe and rip your self-image apart as you compare it to everyone else around you.
Did you know that ALL of those thoughts are being used to distract you from the WILL of God for your life by destroying your confidence? If you don’t believe that you are “good” enough, you most likely won’t believe that God can really USE you. You’ll be stuck in this circle of inferiority for the rest of your life and remain insecure.
WHO told you those lies?! Was it People magazine? TMZ? Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Seems like innocent entertainment, right? Well—it’s not. Those unhealthy television shows and magazines only place discontentment into your heart. It makes you wish your guy made a little more money and you secretly idolize the different celebrities in your heart. You wish you had their life while Jesus Christ saved you as YOU and He is constantly tugging on your heart to stop comparing yourself to others. This is why He tells us to “guard your heart—for out of it flows the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). If you want to really be free, you have a part to play. Your part is to stop picking up those magazines, turning on those terrible shows and place a guard around your heart. Practice this protection.
Did you know that God NEVER uses one’s outward physical appearance to determine their physical beauty? When the prophet Samuel examined Jesse’s sons in search of the next king of Israel, he was impressed with Eliab’s appearance. God told Samuel: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things you are looking at. You look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Nothing in a person’s outward appearance impresses God. God is constantly checking out what’s going on in your HEART.
And to make all this relevant, did you know that the holy women of old made themselves beautiful by trusting God and accepting the authority of their husbands (1 Peter 3:5). And that’s free. Sure it’ll cost you something to learn to trust God and submit to your husband (if you have one, and it’s okay if you don’t!) but it won’t be in your bank account. And that now means that you can get out of credit card debt and focus on what’s really important- what’s at the HEART of these issues.
Who are you to criticize the way you look or talk about anybody else? On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). You are made in the image of God Almighty. He didn’t make any mistakes. God is not surprised by your hips, lips, eyes, face or any part of your body. So for you gossip about anybody else, speak negatively about his/her personality or style is wrong and NONE of your business. God made you to look the way you do for your very purpose, just as He made them. You are beautifully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14). Your talents, gifts and everything on the inside of you are NOT by mistake. God placed those desires in you and attached your personality to complete your very purpose. So stop trying be like everyone else. BE YOU. There’s no person on this earth like YOU.
Part of the freedom that God gave us is the freedom to choose–meaning, He’s not going to force you to do anything.
We have a daily choice to live for Him, cast down negative thoughts, and use wisdom with our decisions. We get to choose whether we are going to be content with OUR portion and to trust His perfect timing concerning every area of our lives! If you have to run in circles to keep up with the Jones’ or to impress people, they’re not FOR you. In Christ, we don’t have to kiss anybody’s butt. In Christ, we can be free to be WHO God created US to be without false facades. In Christ, we can be honest about where we are. In Christ, we can recognize that our looks, possessions, and “status” will all fade. In Christ, we recognize that our value comes from HIM alone and what He did on the cross. In Christ, we seek to conform to His image and not some other human’s. So, don’t get wrapped up in this crazy world. Keep your eyes on Christ. He loves you like crazy."