There are often times that I see myself through distorted eyes. It is like I am looking at myself through the lens of a funhouse mirror, which twists my reflection in crazy ways. What I see in my altered reflection is the not the same as reality, but that is not always easy to see.
I am reminded of a Dove commercial with the slogan, “You’re more beautiful than you think.” Within the video, several women were asked to describe their physical appearance to a forensic sketch artist, who had never met them, and who was sitting facing away from them and could not see them. He would then draw a picture of them based on their self-description. In the same experiment, the women were also asked to meet with another person, a total stranger. After the woman left the room, the stranger would then also describe the woman’s appearance to the sketch artist.
In the end, there were two pictures drawn of each woman by the artist. One picture was drawn from each woman’s own self-description, and the other came from a description from the stranger she had just met. Side by side, the two pictures were vastly different from each other. The women typically emphasized the things they disliked about themselves, while the strangers tended to notice their best features, and described qualities like, “She had nice eyes that lit up when she spoke.” In every case, the women’s self-description picture was noticeably more negative and exaggerated than the gentler (and more accurate!) picture that came from the stranger’s description.
(For full impact, check out the commercial here!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk )
So we maybe don’t see ourselves as accurately as others do. I wonder how God would describe me, compared to how I would describe myself?
For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)
When I read these verses, which say that God has formed every part of me, and that He has plans for me, and that I am His work of art, and am precious to Him – I know within my soul that every part of me has been wonderfully made.
But, in times when my judgment has been clouded, I have had no problem justifying that I shouldn’t feel good about who I am.
My four-year-old daughter came up to me this week and made a negative comment about her appearance. Yikes! As her mom, I know she is beautiful and perfect in every way! As a parent, to hear my young daughter form a negative opinion about herself was absolutely heartbreaking.
Until I had this experience as a parent, I had never considered how my self-critical attitude might affect my own heavenly Parent. I can only imagine how God our Father in Heaven must feel when I look down on myself. He literally knitted me together in my mother’s womb, breathed life into me and predestined assignments just for me to accomplish!
My love and devotion for my daughter is beyond measure, and yet it cannot compare to the love God has for my daughter, or for me. She is His masterpiece! And so am I.
We are children of God, formed in HIS image, dearly loved by Him! How have I thought it is ok for me to carry negative attitudes about myself, when God has put so much love and detail into every part of my life?
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; make and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
Watching my kids grow and discover life is an incredible experience. It also has brought me new insight into how God sees me and loves me. The way I feel towards my own children gives me a glimpse of how God sees and loves His. And what He sees is so much better than I how I might see myself!