How often have you stood in front of the mirror, disgruntled about the reflection staring back at you? I’m too short. I’m too fat. My hair isn’t straight/curly/short/long enough. My teeth aren’t pearly white. If you are like I am, it happens almost on a daily basis. It’s an ageless phenomenon: we women tend to be very critical of ourselves. And why wouldn’t we be? We are programmed to believe that our personal worth is based on what the world has deemed valuable. What we wear, how our hair/body looks, how smart we are, what school we attend or job we have, who our friends are, what kind of car we drive or house we live in, how many people “liked” our pictures on Facebook or Instagram, whether or not we made the team, how much money we make…this is just the beginning of the daunting and often unattainable criteria the world has set before us for being “worth anything.” Is it any wonder, then, that many girls and women alike suffer from low self-esteem?
The world has become our mirror.
Our view is muddled by 24/7 media input, which I believe is Satan’s tool for tearing people down and tearing families apart. In that mirror, we can only see failure and imperfection, and we start to believe its lies. The reflection has become so distorted that we struggle to even remember what the “real” us looks like.
Our challenge, then, is to find a new Mirror, a new way in which we gauge how valuable we are. In this Mirror, we will see a reflection of the One who created us. Rather than seeing a flawed, hopeless creature, this Mirror will reveal a Masterpiece. This new Mirror will create something better than self-esteem; it will build God-esteem!
God’s Word should be our Mirror.
In Ephesians 2:4-5, 10, we see that we are just exactly what God designed us to be!
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in sin, made us alive together with Christ…For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (emphasis added)
Have you ever created anything? When I was a little girl, my favorite part of camp was going to the craft hall and making sun catchers. I would come home and show them to Mom, beaming with pride at what I had made! All around our house, I proudly displayed my handiwork. In my eyes, they were perfect. Yes, they were made out of cheap plastic, and yes, I painted outside the lines in some places, but it didn’t matter. I loved my sun catchers. They were important to me, because I made them.
Similarly, God believes we are worthy of all His riches simply because WE ARE HIS UNIQUE MASTERPIECE. It was His decision how tall to make us, or whether or not we would have freckles. He decided what color eyes we would have, how many hairs we would have on our head, and what the sound of our voice would be. Listen as David reiterates in Psalm 139 how intimately God, our Creator, knows us:
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thoughts afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether…” (Psalm 139:1-4) “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…And in your book they are all written, The days fashioned for me…” (Psalm 139:13-16)
How comforting to know that we do not have to be perfect in the eyes of the world! God sees His beautiful creations and each one’s unique characteristics and He LOVES His handiwork. He loves the ones who are short and the ones who are tall, the ones who didn’t make the team and the ones who did, the ones who stink at math and the ones who are geniuses, the ones who don’t have a lot of money and the ones who do. He loves us because WE ARE HIS MASTERPIECES.
I encourage you to find the music and listen to the words to “Mirror” by Barlow Girl. It aptly captures the daily battle we face as women, and the freedom we find by seeing ourselves as God sees us:
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Have I got it?
‘Cause Mirror, you’ve always told me who I am
I’m finding it’s not easy to be perfect
So sorry you won’t define me
Sorry you don’t own me.
Who are you to tell me
That I’m less that what I should be?
Who are you? Who are you?
I don’t need to listen
To the list of things I should do
I won’t try, I won’t try
Mirror, I am seeing a new reflection
I’m looking into the eyes of He who made me
And to Him I have beauty beyond compare
I know He defines me
You don’t define me, you don’t define me…
Now that we can see clearly the reflection of God’s love through His Word, we can begin to see an undistorted view of a worthy woman. Our self-esteem can now better be described as God-esteem!
By Amy Games
Amy is a second grade teacher from Moundsville, WV. She is married to Brian Games, also a teacher, and has two sons, ages 16 and 13. Amy is on the Spiritual Direction Committee for a girls’ youth rally in Pittsburgh, PA, called “God’s Girls,” and has spoken, taught, and written many times of her belief that God has a special purpose for each of us and loves us unconditionally!