When I was a school teacher, I walked into the men’s room, and one of our students was about two inches from the mirror examining a zit that he thought was the size of Mount Vesuvius. He looked really gloomy and I told him, “Wait a minute, you’ve got it wrong!” He turned to me, “What?” I asked him “Does anyone ever get that close to you, like you were with the mirror?” He replied, “Probably not”. I told him “Try it again, only look in the mirror from about as far as you are standing from me”. He did, and I asked “Do you even notice it?” He replied “Not really, hey, thanks Mr. Bowlin” and smiling he headed out the door.
Can you relate? High School was rough, Middle School even worse, I know few people without a wound from Middle School. Those were the times when we forgot all the times Dad and Mom told us we were special (and it was worse if they didn’t). Those were the times we decided all the areas we fall short and figured that we walked around on the world’s stage with everyone looking at us and making value judgments. Truth be known, all of them were wondering the same thing.
God gave us a perspective on this very thing in the Bible.
Did you know that all the strands of our DNA were intentional on His part. “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance, and in Your book were written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Psalm 139:13-16). Just a fast glance here, God, made us, wove us in our mother’s womb, when we were just a cell. He made us exactly the way He wanted to, and not only that, knew how many days we would live. And what does it say about His work? We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Does God make mistakes? Of course not.
So where did we get the idea that He did? Way back to what the kid said in Middle School? Think back, do we EVEN care what that kid thought…not hardly! No, most of it comes from a culture that markets the perfect form, the superstar athlete, the model, the movie star. We had junior versions of those among our high school classmates, no doubt. So we compared ourselves and found ourselves needing something.
The Apostle Paul even had some of this. “For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible’” (2 Corinthians 10:10). This man is a mighty tower in our history, but you know, when someone said these things it had to hurt. This is especially for a man who speaks in public all the time, “you are funny looking and your voice is hard to listen to”. This is among a public that were almost groupies for people who were teachers and orators.
But Paul wasn’t buying it, and he tells us that we need to reject the idea of making comparisons and value judgments among people, including ourselves. “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12).
To see our personal value based on a comparison with someone else, is simply to be without understanding.
That is the take of God’s word on this. So we need to ask ourselves is that where we get the idea that something is wrong with the way God made us. God made us just the way He intended, and the scripture says it was fearful and wonderful when He did it, right from the cellular level.
So where do I get my value? From who I am in Jesus Christ.
And that value lasts for all eternity. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). So back off the mirror, and give God thanks for who I am in Christ!