People struggle all their lives with self-image, looks, and acceptance.
Advertising perpetuates the myth of beauty and style as models of perfection and the way to popularity and success. As a teacher, I see “fitting in” as students’ number one priority. Those who feel they lack the prerequisites retreat into cocoons of their own making. Their need to blend in and not be different is like camouflage, making them invisible.
God didn’t intend for people created in His image and after His likeness to face this struggle. God is many-faceted, and we are perfected through Him. Our struggle should be to become the people He created us to be while experiencing the fullness of His love. Then we can confront the world, equipped to be a witness of His mighty works.
To illustrate this point to students, I brought rocks of all shapes, variations, and composites to class. “Like these two malachites, each rock is different, even from those of its own kind,” I said. The difference is what makes them interesting and beautiful in their own way. All rocks are God-made, unique, and one of a kind.
Placing a brick on the desk, I continued, “This brick is man-made. Its uniformity makes it easier to fit in a wall and look like the others.” When we sacrifice our values and beliefs to help others chisel away our uniqueness, we become like the brick. Bricks are useful, but they are rarely appreciated and, over time, become boring.
Each of us is beautiful in God’s eyes. Remember you are a reflection of just one of the many facets of God’s image.
Prayer: Father, help us emerge from our cocoons as individuals—different and unique. Make us sensitive to the fragility of those around us who struggle. Help us grow in wisdom and discernment, so we might be effective witnesses of Your awesome love. Amen.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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