A few weeks ago, I overheard a group of teenage girls speaking down about themselves at my church. Comments like “I’m not pretty enough” and “No one likes me because of my personality” were just a few of the self-deprecating things they said. It was painful to hear these young teens’ struggles so much with their self-confidence.
I approached them and asked the girls if they truly believe what they said. Shaking their heads yes, I then asked if they believed God thought the same. They all said no, stating that they knew God loved everyone. I challenged them by asking why they couldn’t accept themselves the way God accepted them?
That question seemed to send the group of girl into shock. No one could answer me seriously, and they hadn’t really taken the time to wonder why the felt that way.
Upon further investigation over the next few weeks, it was revealed that most Christians struggle with self-confidence, like any human does, despite knowing that God loves them the way they are.
Struggling to accept yourself the way God made you is telling God that you aren’t approving of His beautiful design. It’s harder said than done, absolutely, but as Christians we should strive to give ourselves the love and respect we deserve, because God wants us to.
Here are some helpful tips to help you accept the amazing creation that you are.
God Made You Specifically
The Bible clearly states that we are all made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). He knows each of us by name (John 10:3) and He lives inside of each of us (Job 33:4). God is a part of us, and He made each of us individually as a beautiful creation of His.
God gave His time to create each of us. Each of us is exactly how God wanted us to be. When we give into self-defeating thoughts, we are telling ourselves that God didn’t make us correctly. This isn’t true because God cannot make a mistake.
Look Up to God Instead of Focusing on the Devil
The devil knows your weaknesses, and will use those against you. He can sit on your shoulder and whisper evil things in your ear that make you feel weak. He will encourage the negative, self-deprecating thoughts that you have. He will remind you of all your past sins and make you feel shame, rejected, and disgusting.
However in Paul's letter to Titus, he said: "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy...So that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (3:3-5,7).
God knows that we have been sinful and understands we might have horrible thoughts that go against His teachings. But we shouldn’t succumb to the devil during these moments. We should be looking up to God when we are lacking in self-love. He gave us such a beautiful gift, and we should honor it by turning our attention to Him.
Embrace What You Don’t See
Many times, our lack of self-confidence comes from hating how we look. We believe we aren’t pretty enough, thin enough, or have the right clothes. The truth is, what we see on the outside really isn’t important. The apostle Paul said, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).
What we see in the world today isn’t what is important. What is important is the faith we have in Christ and the blessings we are to be given after we die. What is real is God’s love.
When we think we aren’t worthy of love, we turn to things that pull us away from God. We scavenge the bottom of the barrel, turning to drugs, alcohol, sexuality promiscuity or the like, to find any ounce of something to make us feel better about ourselves. By doing this, we are yelling to God that He didn’t make us well enough. We should be focusing on God’s love, and how He accepts us unconditionally. Through His teachings, mercy and love we will also learn how to love ourselves. Only the Good News of Christ offers true hope.