I cringe when I hear these oh-so-common words escaping yet another person's lips:
"Wow, I look ugly in that picture."
"Don't post that! I look dumb."
Not only does it make me feel bad for even considering the idea of making public this person's apparent insecurities, but it also makes me increasingly uncomfortable.
It seems as if today's appearance-driven culture is fueled by the amount of times someone can insult themselves in a minute, and, just to be frank, I hate it. I will admit that I was the same way once, and I definitely have days when I feel like an ugly duckling. I sometimes feel like I just want to stay home because no one wants (or needs) to see my curly mop of hair complementing the lack of makeup smeared on my face. Then, once the decision is made to face my irrational fears and go out of my safe, unincorporated community into our slightly more incorporated town, I try on clothing item after clothing item, finding no satisfaction, no solace, and no peace.
This seems to be a problem with this, plain and simple. Pointing out your insecurities is the exact opposite of what should be the norm, right? When you think about it, it just sounds weird to say it is normal to talk about how bad you are. I understand that people are insecure because I, myself, am insecure about a lot of things, but the sticking point is this: why are you pointing out your insecurities? Is it out of humility or out of selfishness?
As a student at a private, Christian school for 14 years, I could probably count on one hand how many lessons have not included a reference to the fact that all humans are sinners, fallen and broken in the eyes of God. I stand firm on the fact that there are no naturally good people because everything that we set our minds on doing is tainted with sin, and the original sin that occurred in the Garden of Eden not only set humanity off on a cycle of sinful acts, but it also led to the introduction of pain, suffering, sadness, and insecurity, among other undesirable things in our lives.
When someone points out their insecurities, it often revolves around a selfish longing for attention, for someone to counter their remark with words of affirmation. Please know that that is not what should be happening. Sure, it is absolutely necessary to know, without a doubt, that we are not perfect. We are utterly broken, bent out of shape, and basically dead without Christ. That is a fact. Acknowledging that and realizing that you are loved even though you do not deserve it allows your relationship with God to be that much sweeter. When you make known the fact that maybe you are not the most attractive, the smartest, or the most coordinated person simply because you are thirsty for attention, however, that is an indication that you are looking for your identity in something that simply is not worth it. People fail. Words fail. God never fails.
I say all that to tell you this: know that you are, without a doubt, lost without Christ, but also know that God created you. That is a privilege in itself. God absolutely did not need humans to complete Him. When God created the heavens and the earth, he did not say to Himself, "Hm, I wonder what could fill this empty hole in my Being? I guess I need someone here with me!" He created humanity out of a love that is unable to be matched by anyone here on earth. He created humanity because He wanted to do it, not because He had to do it.
Whenever I hear someone getting down on themselves because of something they think is wrong with them, I think first that they are just wrong (just so you know, a lot of things you are insecure about are unnoticed by others), and then I think that they could feel so much better if they only saw themselves as the beautifully and undeservedly valued and loved creation of God that they are. I know for a fact that finding your identity not in who you are but in who God has made you brings so much more peace, so much more security, and a much more positive influence on your peers.
I encourage you to live like you have immeasurable value because you do. It is so much more difficult to insult yourself when you know for a fact that, in spite of all the stuff you may think is wrong with you, you were created by God because He wanted you. That just makes all those things you might be insecure about fade away and seem tiny in comparison to the beautifully redeemed identity that children of God are able to find in Him.