Many of us are insecure. We are insecure in our looks, our personalities — from choices of fashion to career. We compare ourselves to others, seeing only how they are better. Sometimes we do it unknowingly — it has become that normal. You hear it all the time: people expressing concern about how they look in pictures, or how they ate the other day, or how they hate their haircut. Even the most seemingly confident people are probably struggling internally with insecurity. The problem is that we look to cultural and societal norms and standards to judge our self-worth. So how are we ever going to feel like we are worth something, like we have a purpose and a true identity?
The truth is that God has already proven our worth in him. "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners," (Romans 5:8) God the Father actually sent his Son in human form to show his pure love for us — caring for the people, working miracles, living a completely sinless life reliant on his Father. God is just, so he was not going to break his own rules, so to speak. However, he loved us and yearned for us to be with him. Therefore, he sent his son, his most precious possession, to earth to be sacrificed. He essentially took all of our blame — every sin we commit was on his shoulders as he was crucified on that cross. He died with our sin and rose again three days later in order for us to be able to have a relationship with God. God the Father puts Jesus's righteousness on us (substitutionary atonement). "If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved," (Romans 10:9-10).
"And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have such little faith?" -Matthew 6:30
God perfectly and wonderfully crafted each individual flower, putting love and care in his work. Yet after meticulously painting each flower, he lets them perish within days. If God puts so much effort into something that is "here today and gone tomorrow," can you imagine just how much effort, love, attention, and care he used in creating you?
"Then God said 'Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us." - Genesis 1:26a
God made us all in his perfect image. The God of everything, our creator and Lord, made us like him. That means each and every one of us was crafted in the exact image God designed for us. Every body type and shape was destined for us by our Father. He put immense care into making us the exact way that we are. If God loves the image he created us in and says "it is good" (Genesis 1:31a), then shouldn't we respect him by loving our bodies and caring for them, too? By letting the world dictate our beliefs of beauty, we are telling God he did not do a good job — that he is not good enough. "Should the thing that was created say to the one that created it, 'Why have you made me like this?'" (Romans 9:20b). I struggle with seeing myself in the light God created me in and fall victim to believing the world all too often, but I pray that God will aid me in seeing who I am — his daughter whom he created in his perfect image.
In knowing that God created us exactly like he planned with love and care, we need to respect his creation. We need to respect ourselves and our bodies because by doing so we respect God. If we believe in God, and that Jesus rose from the dead, then the Holy Spirit dwells within us. "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? Your body is not your own," (1 Corinthians 6:19).
This verse directly tells us that we are not living for our own benefit — these bodies house the living God. We want to love the temple God dwells in.
"For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." -1 Corinthians 6:20
We need to be mindful not only how we treat our own bodies, but how we treat others. We need to build people up, not tear them down. We need to show love to others and aid them in loving their own bodies, too! Rather than hurting others to make ourselves feel a brief moment of being "better," we need to extend love and build others up to help them feel better, which in the long run helps not only them, but you as well. When we see ourselves in the dark of the world and try to compare ourselves to what is culturally beautiful or right, we will all find flaws because we are all made differently. This leads to self-doubt and a lack of self-esteem, which can lead to dangerous things because we then try to find our worth in the world. We are seeking for self-worth in other sinners. None of us are perfect and we all sin, so why do we want to find our worth here on earth? Wouldn't you rather find your worth in God, literally the only perfect thing? He created us, so shouldn't we look to him for fulfillment?