My middle son has a big, funny shaped head, and on it rest one little bitty freckle to the left side of his nose -- it’s my favorite place to kiss him. When he pronounces any word containing the letter “F” he brings his bottom teeth to his upper lip, instead of bringing his upper teeth to his bottom lip, and the words never come out quite right; yet, still, I hang on every one of them. My youngest son’s left front tooth is split right down the middle, and yet, I’d do anything to see it peering out from his crooked smile. My husband has small wrinkles trailing from the corners of his eyes; yet, as they set deeper into his skin, my love for him follows suit.
Imperfections we call them.
But “imperfect” compared to what?
Compared to other, more “normal,” people? Compared to pictures that haunt the check-out lanes of our local grocery stores? Compared to our husband’s favorite actress or his old high school crush? What exactly defines a physical feature as “perfect” or “imperfect”?
When I look at the people that I love, I see there “imperfections” as anything but.
Yet, I myself seep with envy for her hair, her height, her eyes, her complexion and her more “perfect” body.
Day in and day out we succumb to the lie that our value, at least partially, lies in long flowing hair, an even skin tone, or a small waist -- and we spend, collectively, billions of dollars a year trying to measure up. We carry around the burdensome whispers that we’d be so much happier if only we could change this, if only we had that -- or worse, the sense that our husbands would love us more if only we had her butt or her breasts, or if only...
These prerequisites to happiness are such a slap in the face to our Creator.
When I complain about my flat hair, my chubby cheeks, or my dull brown eyes, aren’t I really saying to the Lord that he is not enough for me? Aren’t I really saying that to be of any real worth, or value, or beauty, I need more? Aren’t I essentially saying, “God, you shortchanged me, and I deserve more”?
Insecurity and pride: two sides of the same wicked coin. Strange how the most insecure people you know are also the most self-absorbed. Insecurities are born when we look to the wrong place for our worth, when we look to ourselves or other people. We, alone, will never be enough or have enough, but in Christ, we are fully-equipped. Only when we put ourselves aside and look to Him, do our insecurities begin to melt away, and they are replaced with true contentment.
Insecurity is a demon child of fear, but if we rest in Him and His perfect Love, all fear is cast out. When we turn our gaze to Christ, we find our daily affirmation is in the surety of our atonement, not the praise of men; we discover our identity in His innumerable graces, not a “perfect” body or face; we understand that our only fame is that we bear His name, not the applause of our audience; we recognize that our only glory is in His grace, not our own gifts; and the Holy Spirit, alone, is our comforter.
Just think about it, if we, as sinful humans, can see the beauty and marvelousness of our own children’s’ form, even with their so-called imperfections, then how much more must we please our Heavenly Father, who is capable of perfect love?
I’m embarrassed by the time and energy that I have wasted on superficial ends, but I’m also thankful for them, because through their inefficiency to satisfy me, I was driven right into the arms of Christ, and I’ve never felt more beautiful or loved.
Quit comparing yourself to other people -- that is Satan’s impossible game – instead, take comfort in the truth that you were made for a purpose that only you can fill, and there could never be a more beautiful you.
Help us to remember that you are shaping us into the image of you. Help us to remember that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against powers of darkness, and that those powers want us to believe that we are not valuable and not worthy unless we look a certain way, but we know the truth: that we are ready for anything and equal to anything through you, who infuses us with inner strength. We are sufficient in your sufficiency. Help us to quit believing the lie that we need more, and help us to be grateful for what you have already given us, because what you have given us more than enough. And most importantly, Jesus, please, reveal to us your deep, unending, unconditional love, because you know we will only be truly free from our insecurities when we understand that all-consuming love.In Jesus name, Amen.