When I was a sophomore in college, I used to hide out in my dorm room because I felt too self-conscious about my weight to go out and meet people. I was looking at myself through the eyes of others, and in their perceived eyes, I was a loser.
I wish I’d known how to renew my mind in those days because I desperately needed to see myself through God’s eyes. Unfortunately, our society has become even more focused on looks now than it was when I was growing up.
I feel for all you younger women and girls who are being told you have to be skinny and beautiful to be acceptable. What I’d like to do is give you some ammunition you can use to fight against those lies.
The ammunition comes in the form of some questions you can ask yourself when you’re feeling insecure. These are the questions I asked before the writers conference, and they always pointed me to the truth of God’s Word. I’m hoping you’ll give them a try on those days you feel like hiding out in your room because you don’t measure up.
Let’s take a look at the questions first, and then we’ll try them out with an example.
- Why do you think you’re not acceptable?
- What (or whose) standards are you using to determine whether or not you’re acceptable?
- What does God think about those standards?
- What standards would He like to see you using?
- Who are you in God’s eyes?
- What will you need to accept to find peace?
- Are you in a place of feeling loved and cherished by God despite your weaknesses, or are you feeling like you have to be perfect so God and others will love and accept you?
- What can you thank God for in this situation?
When I use these questions, I think of them as a springboard for a conversation with God. It’s almost like God is asking the questions, and I’m talking them over with Him. He adjusts my view of life, and that frees me from my insecurity. Let’s see how this works with a practical example.
Pretend you’re back with me in college. Let’s say I agree to go to a Campus Crusade meeting with a friend, but I’m feeling really intimidated by the whole situation because of my weight. This is how I would answer the questions if I were that girl again:
Why do you think you’re not acceptable? Because I’m not skinny.
What (or whose) standards are you using to determine whether or not you’re acceptable? Hollywood’s, maybe?
What does God think about those standards? He hates them. He doesn’t think I need to be skinny to be acceptable.
What standards would He like to see you using? Biblical standards.
Who are you in God’s eyes? I’m His workmanship, created for good works. I’m His bride. A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession. I’m His delightful child, and He exults over me with joy. (Ephesians 2:10, Isaiah 62:4-5, 1 Peter 2:9-10, Zephaniah 3:17)
What will you need to accept to find peace? That I’m not as skinny as I want to be and that some people will judge me because of my weight.
Are you in a place of feeling loved and cherished by God despite your weaknesses, or are you feeling like you have to be perfect so God and others will love and accept you? I’m feeling like I have to be perfect so others will love and accept me. (Note: If I’m still feeling like this by the time I get through with all of these questions, I try to pray through Scripture. Nothing works better than God’s Word to bring me to peace when I’m feeling insecure. If you want a list of the verses I use, please e-mail me at email@example.com.)
What can you thank God for in this situation? That even if everyone at the Campus Crusade meeting shouts, “Oh, you fat person!” when I walk in the door, I’ll still be okay because God loves me. That God is not a condemning perfectionist. That He’s full of grace. That He can use this trial to build my character. That He’s the king of the universe, so it’s more important what He thinks than what others think. That I don’t have to measure up to the standards of others. That God is enough.
The next time you’re feeling insecure, why don’t you give these questions a try? See if they help you see yourself through God’s eyes. I’m hoping they do.
Note to those who have done my Freedom from Emotional Eating study: I started writing these questions last summer when I realized that truth journaling didn’t help me with insecurity. All of my truth journaling entries looked like this: He thinks I’m . . . She thinks I’m . . . And of course, since I don’t know what others are thinking, it’s hard to figure out what the truth is! So I came up with these questions to help me renew my mind. If truth journaling doesn’t work for you with feelings of insecurity, give these questions a try.