Image is Everything

Photo Mar 10, 1 51 31 PMImage is everything. For so many women, and especially our generation of girls, this statement controls our lives. It dictates what we say, what we wear, what we eat, what we post on Instagram or Facebook, how we treat others, whom we choose to be friends with, and so on. Few of us get through a day without some thought of our image, of how others perceive us. One of my own very personal struggles is the struggle to be content with the woman God designed me to be—with my own unique gifts, abilities, and flaws—without fear or concern of how someone else will perceive or judge me. Why is this such a heart-wrenching struggle for us? Unfortunately, it begins in the hearts of girls at a young age, and without the pouring-in of God’s truth and love, it can get ugly…fast.

Seventy-five percent of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or eating disorders. Teen girls that have a negative view of themselves are 4 times more likely to take part in activities with boys that they’ve ended up regretting later. Seven in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members (11 Facts About Teens). Beginning around the age of 10, girls become aware of and feel that they can’t measure up to unrealistic society standards.   THE AGE OF 10!! And it doesn’t stop here. With more and more girls upholding society and the media as moral compasses, consequently, we are entering womanhood emotionally bruised. And we say to others, “I don’t care what you think of me!” but, oh, how we do! As women, we must be image-bearers of Christ to our girls. We must help them to see that they are created in the image of our Father, and that it is only HIS standards we should seek to emulate.

Photo Mar 10, 1 50 04 PMI have lived most of my life in fear of judgment, in turmoil about what others might think of me. I have made poor choices, compromised values, sacrificed virtue…all in the name of pursuing approval of others, including those I don’t even know. The things we do for acceptance! You want to know how that’s worked out for me? Sleepless nights, broken hearts, wounded relationships, migraines, stress, physical exhaustion…it’s hard keeping up with the Joneses! So, here’s the deal…God’s truth tells us that we’ve already been accepted, not only accepted, but CHOSEN, HAND-PICKED by our Father: “But you are a CHOSEN people, a ROYAL priesthood, a holy nation, God’s SPECIAL possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). What’s so cool is that we are all broken, but God chooses us in that state! He loves us as we are. He stands ready to embrace our brokenness and heal us if we will be real with Him and let go of our self-made image. The Gospel of John tells us that “He must become greater and greater and [we] must become less and less” (3:30). Our image should be driven more by who GOD is and less by who WE are.

Photo Feb 04, 6 27 13 PMI’m broken. You’re broken. Everyone is broken in some way. But that’s not the end of the story. Jesus wants to bring healing to us, healing that allows us to use our brokenness for His glory. And as He reveals His image to us more and more, we can reflect His goodness, love, and mercy to the girls in our shadows who are desperately seeking a holy standard with which to align their hearts. We must reflect an image that is worth emulating.

So image IS everything. It’s our reflection of our Father’s image that influences the world for Jesus. And isn’t bringing Jesus to the world everything?

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?                                      Mark 8:36-37

Source:

“11 Facts About Teens and Self Esteem.” DoSomething.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.


{This post was written by April Tapp.  April is an Arkansas girl who is enjoying her newly transplanted life in sunny Florida.  She is married to Jeff, the Minister to Students at Chets Creek Church.  April has taken on a role to minister specifically to our young girls.  Jeff and April have two boys that keep April on her toes, especially when their fun involves surfing (read: sharks), skateboards, and high speeds.  She loves her Keurig, writing, teaching, and you’ll always see her in a great pair of earrings. If you’d like more info about Chets Students, check out http://hodges.chetscreek.com/students}

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