by Ella Corey
I could probably name 100 things I do not like about myself.
Like most people (especially 19-year-old girls), my mind is constantly racing with things I should’ve done better, or how I could look better. We all battle doubts and anxieties that make us scrutinize ourselves. Over the past nineteen years of my life, I have seen my share of friends experience struggles with insecurities, and some of their responses have gotten very serious.
I’ve learned that one negative thought has the power to rule a one’s mind, consuming it completely. Whether they react by developing an eating disorder, or having a long string of damaging boyfriends, these girls’ failure to understand God’s love for them has severely effected how they value themselves. We all see it and we all struggle with it. We all have qualities we hate about ourselves, and we all have the stories we hope no one finds out about.
It’s because of these thoughts that people begin to think that they are worthless. They let other people treat them poorly and they treat themselves that way as well. They believe the lies that say, “You’ll never be good enough” and “Nobody cares.” The root of the problem here is: these lies are NOT from God.
Insecurities and self-hate are a form of spiritual warfare. In a Focus on the Family article on eating disorders, this is said about society’s lies:
“Our image-driven society wants us to think that everyone should have the same ideal body size and shape, regardless of genetic predisposition. If we believe this myth long enough, we also start thinking that our value as a person is based on how close we come to this ideal. If we’re going to change our attitudes about eating, weight and appearance, we’ve got to start recognizing these ideas as lies. To do that, it is vital that we develop the skill of independent, critical thinking. Culture slips falsehoods into our lives in subtle ways — through television, movies, music, magazines and advertisements. Tragically, the false messages are sometimes reinforced by our families and friends. No matter how much you’re being bombarded by the lies, don’t buy into them.”
Like any form of warfare, we need a defense to fight off the lies that we hear every day. Ephesians 6 gives an elaborate description of how we’re supposed to respond to spiritual warfare: with the Full Armor of God. I believe one aspect of this armor specifically applies to this, though. That is the Belt of Truth.
When Christ says “the Truth shall set you free,” I believe this is what he is referring to. It shall set you free from these demons trying to tell you negative things about yourself. It shall set you free from the lies that make you feel worthless. It shall set you free from self-hate.
There are specific truths that I believe apply to insecurities in particular, and I think they are important to know when you, or a friend, are having a rough day.
Here are a few:
- When you are feeling negatively towards your self-image—remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
- When you feel like everyone is judging and critiquing your outward appearance—remember God focuses on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
- When your looks and body change in ways that discourage you—remember inner beauty lasts forever (1 Peter 3:3-4).
- When you feel attacked or scrutinized by others—remember God is fighting with you (Isaiah 54:17).
- When you are feeling anxious about your future—remember that God brings peace of mind (John 14:27).
- When you are upset and unhappy with the situation you’re in—remember only God can fill you with true joy and hope (Romans 15:13).
As you continue your week, I pray that you remember theses Truths rather than letting the demons win the battle in your mind. Fight to better know God, and engage in scripture and speak to Him. Do not let the lies that society tells you get to your head, and remember your Belt of Truth.