To all who need to love themselves,
Right now you feel broken, bruised, and beaten down.
You struggle to see yourself as significant. To feel valued, to deem yourself worthy of love.
Perhaps significant people in your life have hurled criticism and hatred in your direction. They’ve gone out of their way to show their dislike for you. Or even worse, they’ve ignored you, overlooked you, not even noticed your hurting heart. You feel unloved.
Or maybe life presses down on you in your work. Someone else got the promotion. No one notices your dedication and hard work. You feel insignificant.
Perhaps popular culture has left you convinced you can never measure up. The image in your mirror looks nothing like the model in the jeans ad. Your home seems shabby next to those in HGTV makeovers. Advertising has persuaded you to think you aren’t pretty enough, stylish enough, or organized enough. You feel less-than.
Or it could be social media has convinced you that you aren’t popular enough. You see pictures of parties and get-togethers that didn’t include you. Smiling faces mock you from your screen. You feel rejected.
For any of these reasons, you may struggle to love yourself or even like who you are.
I know. I’ve been there too. Living in this broken world can leave all of us feeling unlovable, unappreciated, unattractive, unpopular, unworthy, and unwelcome.
But I want you to know that emotions can’t give us a proper measure of our value in God’s eyes. And we can change the way we see ourselves when we choose to look through a different lens.
What if you stopped seeing yourself through the eyes of a world that worships an impossible standard of photo-shopped beauty? What if you decided not to look through the lens of a culture that idolizes corporate success? What if you purposely closed your eyes to the messages on social media that tell you that you don’t measure up?
Instead of looking through those distorted lenses, what if you saw yourself as someone God loves despite your sins and failures? As someone Christ paid the ultimate price to redeem, renew, and restore? What if you opened your eyes to God’s amazing love for you poured out at the cross of Calvary?
When you choose to look through the lens of God’s Word, you can begin to see yourself as God sees you. Looking through this lens will bring the real into focus.
You’ll see that you are not rejected but chosen. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT). That means that even before God poured out the oceans, lit up the stars, or formed the mountains, He saw you. He chose you to be His own. He picked you to belong to Him. Take a long look through this lens. To be chosen means you’re desired. To be desired means you’re valued.
Take another look and you’ll discover that you are created—created as a unique and beautiful part of God’s family. When you don’t particularly like what you see in the mirror, read God’s words to you, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV). Remember that in God’s eyes you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 ESV). God purposefully picked out the exact color of your eyes, the specific shade of your hair. He crafted every curve and color with care. He thinks you’re amazing because He made you that way. When all you see are flaws, remember you are purposefully created.
Peer through the lens of God’s Word once more and you will find that you are cherished. God tells you, “You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4 ESV). God’s love doesn’t depend on your achievement at work. It doesn’t require an impossible standard of physical perfection. It doesn’t demand a thousand Instagram likes. The heavenly Father loves you just as you are. When this broken world leaves you feeling distinctly unloved, remember that God cherishes you. You are always in His thoughts. He holds you in His heart. He treasures you and longs for you to come to Him.
To all those struggling to love themselves: Do you feel unloved, insignificant, rejected, or less-than? Could it be you’ve been viewing yourself through the flawed lens of a broken world?
Throw out that lens and, instead, see yourself as God sees you: chosen, created, and cherished.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Kamonwan Wankaew
Sharla Fritz is a Christian author and speaker who weaves honest and humorous stories into life-changing Bible study. Author of Enough for Now: Unpacking God’s Sufficiency, Sharla writes about God’s transforming grace. Sharla lives in the Chicago suburbs with her amusing pastor husband. Connect with Sharla at www.sharlafritz.com