Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Long-anticipated Post

Well, long-anticipated for me.  After my last post, I encountered the inevitable writer's block.  Maybe because I unloaded so much of myself in that last post...and maybe because I didn't know how to follow it.  It's one thing to SAY we need to change our views of beauty and another to actually DO it.

But I don't want to focus my entire blog on beauty and body image.  I also want to talk about the slightly more broad topic of self-worth or self-esteem.  This discussion seems to be cropping up more and more frequently these days.  Even in my church and small group.  We're in the middle of a series called "Climate Change," and last week's episode was entitled "An Unstable Climate."  If you're interested, you can watch it here.  Jeff Henderson does a wonderful job at explaining how labels affect us, and how our insecurity is directly connected with those labels.  He goes through society's "solutions" to insecurity, and then the true answer to this issue: acceptance. More specifically, acceptance through Christ.  When we realize that our Creator accepts us where we are, it has the power to change everything.

The phrase that hit home from this message was this: "The climate of your relationships will change when you see you as God sees you."  Well how does God see us?  In my Sunday School class, we are teaching the kids about creation.  Our verse for the month is Genesis 1:31 - "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good."  As part of God's creation (arguably the most significant part), God sees us very differently than we tend to see ourselves.  We are not "only okay" or something that "could be better" or even "so-so."  We are very good.  Now, if God, the creator of the whole universe, the maker of the sun and a billion galaxies, can see us as very good, why are we so hard on ourselves?  We have the stamp of approval from the only authority that really matters, and yet we insist on beating ourselves up over little things: gaining a few pounds, finishing second in the big race, missing out on that company retreat.  Despite all these things, God still sees us as VERY good.

Now this doesn't mean He doesn't want us to work on bettering ourselves.  But He doesn't want us to do it alone.  That's why He meets us where we are...so He can guide us to where He ultimately wants us to be.  God doesn't expect us to change overnight, but He does expect us to work daily in His will.

C. S. Lewis once said, "I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him."  Once we realize that Christ wants to meet us here and now, and that He loves and accepts us as we are, we can work on where He wants us to be.