You are beautiful, No, really, YOU are beautiful!

I don’t like my thighs, my skin is too pale, I wish I could get rid of the belly, I don’t feel pretty……

Sound familiar?

Do you spend time looking around at the others and wishing for their tan or their height,or their straight teeth?

Do you look in the mirror and focus on your flaws? Is that all you see?

Do you feel inadequate because you don’t look like you think you should?

The world would have you think that you MUST look a certain way to be successful, to be accepted, to be worthy, but listen my sister (or brother)

That is the lie of the enemy and you better believe that he is going to take as much advantage of your self image issues as he can and he is going to run with it and use it against you.

The bible tells us that we are God’s workmanship ( Ephesians 2:10)

If you look at the synonyms for workmanship, you will find words like, artistry, expertise, skill and know-how.

Another version of the bible uses the word masterpiece, which invokes other words such as jewel, treasure, prize and perfection.

So, another way of reading this verse is, we are His artistic creation that is made perfectly as he intended, with great skill.

It’s sometimes hard to remember this when we are popping pimples, or struggling with our weight, or losing our hair to chemo or when we feel our bodies(or minds) don’t measure up in any number of ways.

But we MUST STOP the negative narratives we are having about ourselves.

When we undervalue ourselves, when we look at ourselves with disgust, are we not in turn undervaluing our creator Himself? Have you ever stopped to think that when we belittle ourselves we are in turn, saying that the creator of the universe made a mistake?

To take it a step further, the bible teaches us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves ( Matthew 22:29)

Have you ever stopped to think how our negative self image can affect how we love others?

Proverbs 27:19 says that “as water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”

I am not saying that it is easy to flip off our nitpicking Nellie ways – there are many complicating factors that come into play such as when others in our lives feed into our negative self image with harsh criticism, abuse and neglect.

Some of us have a bigger hill to climb when it comes to overcoming our self-deprecating ways, but the enemy would have us believe that it is normal and acceptable to see our imperfections and flaws as failures. In his deceptive ways he can lead us to feeling we are unworthy and that self love is unattainable. These feelings of shame and unworthiness can lead us to believe that we are undeserving of love from others and even our own creator.

Listen to me!! That is not the life your heavenly Father has for you and He loves you right where you are, as you are, and He reminds us in Proverbs that (IF we let Him)HE will be our confidence and keep our feet from being ensnared (Proverbs 3:26)

It’s not easy to break those bad habits of sabotaging ourselves, but if we are to allow the Potter to shape the clay that is our lives in the way that He can bless us the most ( because He wants to bless the pants off of us!), we have to start being more aware of the ways the enemy is trying to take us out. He’s never fair about it and he is going to be sneaky about it. How many of us don’t give much thought to when we tear ourselves down? How much of a habit is it for you?

I find that one of my favorite Psalms gives me the stepping off point of reclaiming my self worth the way my Father intended. It is a simple, yet powerful prayer that reaches far in helping us find healing and purpose in embracing all that the Lord wants for us, which definitely includes loving ourselves.

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalms 139:23-24

When we tear ourselves down, we are offending God because God does not make mistakes!

YOU are not a mistake and YOU are beautiful.

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