Tuesday, February 28, 2012

To me, you are perfect

This is from one of my favorite movies Love Actually. I think I may have Patrick get his picture made with a sign like this. I am blessed to have a husband who really does think this. So why can't I say this to myself?
Unfortunately, I am bombarded by the images of what the world says is perfect. Believe me, I in no way measure up. I don't think I did even before I sacrificed my body for the team and had three children. If I didn't before, there no way I can measure up now. No matter how consistently I work out and eat right, I am faced with a body that only surgery (and thousands of dollars) can fix.
And because I don't measure up to these standards that I have accepted as truth, I demean myself even more with my thoughts. When I don't see what I want to see in the mirror, say mean things to myself in my head. This self talk, as counselors would call it, extends into my interactions with others. I heard a local pastor say in a recent sermon that what you are thinking about, is what you look for and therefore, what you see. Wow! How true. What I am thinking about is how unworthy I am, so I look for and "see" confirmation of that in my relationship with others. You can't talk to me right now? You must not think I am important enough. You already have plans this weekend? You must think I am not good enough to hang out with.
Again when my thoughts betray me, I must turn to the source of truth. His word tells me that I don't need to be concerned with what the world defines as beauty. He defines beauty as those who fear Him. In Proverbs 31:30, we are told "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised". From what I have read charm, in this verse, means form. While the world tells us that form and looks define our beauty, these are things we cannot control. Over time these things fade, no matter who you are. What we do have control over is our inner thoughts and actions towards others. This is how God's word spells out the way He defines beauty.
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1 Peter 3:4
From now on when these thoughts enter my head, I will recite these verses and turn my thoughts towards Him. I will begin to measure myself against His definition of beauty. I know that if I can do this He will be saying - Candace - to me, you are perfect.