Beyond the Mirror
Posted on March 24, 2014 by

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Beyond the Mirror

-Leslie Santiago

Growing up there was a question I dreaded hearing: “Do you eat?” As far back as I can remember; the majority of my childhood and adolescence involved teasing and being ridiculed because of my weight. I have always been pretty petite and the smallest in height and weight in school. So I was always asked if I ate, if my parents fed me and I was even asked if I was anorexic. Because of all the constant teasing, I grew up with this obsessive desire to strive to one day be “pretty” and accepted. It was a difficult internal battle for years.

Most women deal with self-image issues. They wish they were skinnier (or bigger), and prettier. Have perfect hair, perfect teeth, the right skin complexion and the list goes on. Somehow we believe that by changing the outward image we will experience true happiness. But regardless of what we do to our exterior, internally we are never fully satisfied. We might feel better for the moment, but then we find something else wrong or “not good enough.” We will always revert back to having the need to be reminded that we are beautiful and accepted. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with affirming people with words, but when you become dependent on those words as fuel to get you through your day, there’s a much bigger issue within.

Genesis 1:27 and 31 says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Do we consider what God has said about us from the very beginning or are we too concerned pointing at all of our flaws? We have created our own standards as to what is “very good”, pleasing and beautiful. In reality, if we know who we are in Christ, there would be no room for low self-esteem and self-image issues. Our identity in Jesus Christ is what defines us and makes us who we are to Christ and what we have now become is because of the sacrifice on the cross.

Ephesians 2:13 and 19 reminds us of this: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” We have been adopted and chosen by Him, hand-picked regardless of what we look like and our past experiences. When He sees us, He sees His son. Our primary call is simply to be His daughters. There is absolutely nothing we have ever done or can ever do to deserve this kind of acceptance and love. We have been saved by grace alone through faith! His acceptance and view of us is not one with special conditions. We didn’t have to get all dolled up or speak eloquently in order to be accepted into His family. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” We have been made right and justified because of Jesus’ sacrifice. How beautiful is that? Our righteousness, our beauty, our holiness is all simply a reflection of our King! Without Him, there is no true beauty! So rather than looking at the world’s standards of beauty, look at your King and see what He has already called you! Look at Jesus’ perfect record engraved in you and receive the freedom that comes with you understanding your true identity!

So how do we apply these truths? It’s one thing to read something and get caught up in the emotion of what you’re reading and it’s another thing to allow the word of God to renew your mind and transform your heart. It’s not just about taking off all the lies, but we need to put on the truth, wear it boldly and store it in our hearts for when we are reminded of the lies again. And you can be sure that at some point, even daily at times, we will be reminded of who we were and of all the “imperfections”. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh.” We must renew our minds with the word of God daily. I encourage you to write these scriptures on your heart. If necessary, write them on your mirror, have Siri remind you to read them daily, leave yourself reminders of them on notes in the bathroom, on your desk at work and make sure to share them with everyone you know:

  • I am in Christ because God chose me (1 Cor. 1:30)
  • I have been made righteous in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21)
  • I have been made complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)
  • I have been given exceedingly great and precious promises by God through which I can participate in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4)
  • I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1:6)
  • I am chosen and dearly loved by God (1 Thess. 1:4)

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