For the Christian Girl Struggling with Self-Worth
Song of Solomon 4:7 – You are altogether beautiful, my love. There is no flaw in you.
You know the verse by heart. It’s written on an index card stuck to your mirror, the mirror you see every morning before you put your mask on, the mirror you avert your gaze from each night when you’ve taken your mask off—the same mirror you stand in front of each time you criticize the girl staring back at you.
I’m ugly. I’m a failure. I’ll never lose the weight. I’ll never be satisfied with my appearance. I’m worthless.
These thoughts send you spiraling into a pit of self-loathing that seems never-ending, but still you put your makeup on, fake a smile, and caption your perfectly filtered Instagram photo of your quiet time with a bible verse. Day in and day out you paint a picture convincing those around you that you are fine.
You aren’t fine. You haven’t been fine in a long time. You can’t remember the last time you were fully satisfied with who you are. You continually cry out to God, begging Him to show you who you are; He has—He has shown you that you are, in fact, beautiful, that there is no flaw in you, but in your self-loathing, you are unable to believe this of yourself.
Your Daddy God—the creator of the universe, the One who numbered the stars—made you. He chose you. He loves you. Our God doesn’t make mistakes. You were made in His image. You are fully loved and fully known by the One who died to know you, and that is nothing that you have done—it is only because He is good and gracious. If this is who He is, and He only creates things that are beautiful, who are we to say that we are anything but?
You are beautiful because of who your Father is. Your worth comes from the work that Jesus did on the cross two thousand years ago. He died for you, knowing full and well that you would run from Him, but He pursued you anyway. Our worth is really not of ourselves, but rather it is something that has been given to us by God—something that He desires to give us, not because we deserve it or have done anything to earn it, but because He is good, and He longs to give good gifts to His children.
When we wallow in self-loathing thoughts, we are not allowing ourselves to hear the truths that God is constantly speaking over us: that we are beautiful, worth far more than rubies (Proverbs 3:15), fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), redeemed and forgiven (Ephesians 1:7), friends of Jesus (John 15:15), a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), set free (Galatians 5:1), children of light (Ephesians 5:8), chosen and loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4), and so much more. He calls us these things on the days we believe them, and they are still true on the days we struggle to remember that we are His beloved (Colossians 3:12), and that this is at the very core of our identities as daughters of Christ.
These things are true of us because they come from the mouth of the Father. He creates perfection, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t neglect the imperfection inside of us. The bible tells us that we are all sinners, that none is worthy of God’s justification because we have all failed.
On our own, our righteousness is insufficient; we are weak. We live in a world filled with broken people that strive more than anything to portray themselves as strong and flawless. This is not how we are called to live. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” You are weak, but that’s okay because your God isn’t. Our weaknesses are a testament to our need for the One who is greater, a reminder that He is all we need to sustain us.
This life isn’t about feeling pretty. We don’t need to feel beautiful to walk out the life that God has planned for us. We are called to surrender; God asks us to give our full selves—the parts we struggle with, the parts we try to conceal, and the depths of our hearts that He sees and loves anyway. We are to give these things to Him and allow Him to shape and mold us into someone that looks more like Himself to accomplish His will.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9). You are continually being molded into who God is calling you to be. When He looks at you, He doesn’t see you the way you do when you look in the mirror. He sees you for who you are in Christ: reconciled and righteous, worthy of entering His kingdom to spend eternity with Him, all because of what Jesus has done. When your mind is boggled down by self-hate, He is reaching out to you, whispering truth over you, and holding you close, aching for you to see yourself through His eyes. In those moments you choose to see yourself as the world sees you, you are disapproving of the Creator—a Creator who doesn’t make mistakes. Who are we, as mere clay, to criticize the workmanship of the potter?
My sweet sister, remember this: you are seen, and you are fully known. Your Papa God immeasurably loves you exactly where you are, but He loves you too much to leave you there. Take heart. Surrender. Let Him remind you of who you are because of who He is.