What happened to her? I can hardly recognize her anymore. Her sweet, pure, child-like
beauty has changed into a done-up mannequin with an awful spray tan. These were my thoughts as I watched one of my favorite shows, notorious for choosing contestants based on talent and not looks. Revolutionary, right….except once you’ve been selected, in come the make-up artists, hairstylists and fashion police. Why? Because IMAGE MATTERS. It matters to the world, it matters to those around you and let’s be honest, it matters to you.
We care about what others think of us. I did! Growing up in New York City, image is everything. Even grandmas have designer handbags and toddlers have “Air Jordans”. To this day, when I visit my mother, I feel like I must look my sharpest to gain the approving nods of the people on the subway and in the bodegas. But, what happens when you do not have the approval of others. When you’ve been rejected because you’re not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or athletic enough. Perhaps you’ve been told you’re not smart enough for that job. Maybe a parent has told you, “Why can’t you be more like your brother.” Your self-image is destroyed and your confidence is shaken.
I had to learn to tune out those negative voices and thoughts and replace it with the truth of God’s Word. God loves me and thinks the world of me. The Bible says, I am the apple of his eye. If you’re struggling with your self-image, turn to these four verses to see what God says and thinks about you.
1. Am Created in His Image: So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. Genesis 1:27
2. I Am Not a Mistake: You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there- you saw me before I was born. Psalm 139: 13, 15-16a
3. I Have A Purpose: God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
4. I Am Loved and Accepted: …I have loved you, so I continue you to show you my constant love. Jeremiah 31:3
Nena Podbury is a project associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she has co-authored children’s curriculum and served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.