Out of ten women:
- Eight feel bad about themselves when they look in the mirror.
- Three have avoided sex due to poor body image.
- Two have avoided meeting new people.
- Two more have sworn off dating altogether.*
Do you find yourself somewhere within the percentages of people who struggle? I've been there before and it all starts with our thought lives. Some of us are willing to tell ourselves things that our loved ones would never dream of speaking. We've been complacent in dealing with horrible thoughts that defile and degrade the bodies gifted to us.
There's a biting myth that we tend to believe: As long as our negative self-talk isn't hurting anybody else, then it's not a big deal.
Have you ever pardoned a nasty thought, shrugging off it off with an excuse? Maybe you just tried to put it out of your mind altogether. Let's consider this excerpt from the book of James:
My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?" (The Message)
1. Not lean on our own understanding. (Prov. 3:5) We look the way we look, speak the way we speak, and attract the people that we attract for the glory of God. What He calls us to, He's built us specifically to accomplish. There's purpose in every crooked nose, wild strand of hair, and knobby knee.
"Beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace..," it says in Isaiah 52:7. We're built for connection, service, and to love others as He's loved us...regardless of our outward appearance.
2. Take every thought captive. (2 Cor. 10:5) Catch yourself in a painful, negative thought? Acknowledge it. Bid it adieu. Replace it with Truth over, and over, and over, again. "Making (that thought) obedient to Christ..." Until it becomes habit.
3. Put others before ourselves. (Phil. 2:3-4) "...value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others..," this verse reads. The people we love benefit from the healthiest, most accessible, loving versions of us. They long to connect to our peaceful, open-hearted selves just as much as we long to allow them access. The fear of being seen, judged, and the insecurity to be ourselves is a like a brick wall between hearts.
If you've struggled to accept your physical appearance and to take authority over your thought life, you're not alone in the battle.
- Who might be able to help you stay on track? Who can help you to view life through the filter of truth?
- Who might offer you a clearer picture of yourself than you're able to conjure up at this point in your journey?
I'd love to hear more about your story below.
With you and for you,
*Ohio State University and Glamour Magazine- Body Image Survey