Each Christian struggles with their own trials and personal vices in this life. I’d like to discuss one of mine, because I’m sure I’m not the only one. I have, for almost as long as I can remember, struggled with self-image, but not really in a low self-esteem sort of way. I struggled with the idea of being average. I always saw myself as smart, but not genius, funny, but not hilarious, talented, but not exceptional, etc… Although I could see my own talents, there were always lots of people who were prettier, more athletic, better singers, better piano players, even better horseback riders. In the last couple of years I’ve resolved those feelings a little bit, and this article will explain some reasons why. Spoiler alert, though: I’m not going to end this article by saying I found something I’m so good at it makes up for all my “average.” I consider myself a good vet tech, 4H leader, and friend, but I’m definitely not the best at any of those things either. Instead, let me tell you why these things don’t matter.
First of all: these things don’t matter because that’s not how God sees me. Although God is the One who has blessed me gifts, that isn’t how he defines me. I Samuel 16:7 tells us that God doesn’t look at the outward appearance. This means God doesn’t particularly care if I’m the best vet tech in the world. He looks at the heart. God doesn’t care if I can’t remember the quadratic formula, if I sometimes make really lame jokes, or if I don’t actually understand what a flying lead change is. God looks on my heart. He placed in me a love and desire for Him and His ways. That’s what’s really important.
Secondly: these things don’t matter because they don’t determine my value. God alone gets to determine my value as a person. Matthew 10:31 says I’m of more value than the sparrows. It doesn’t make a difference that I will never be a soccer superstar. God already has decided to save me. He has already given me value, and even when my tone falters on an acapella key change, that value does not decrease.
Thirdly: these things don’t matter because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 says so. I mean think about it, this verse doesn’t say “Hey, you’re a pretty cool person if you can back a truck up to a gooseneck trailer” or “You are amazing if you’ve got the people skills to handle that difficult client at work.” No. This verse says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and then goes on to say that my very soul knows it. Even when you look in the mirror and think “Why on earth do I have to be the girl/guy that isn’t _____ (fill in your choice of personal vices).” It doesn’t matter how you look, how good of a sports player you are, or how many friends you have. God formed you, intimately and carefully, and that is what creates in you true value.
Finally: these things don’t really matter because my talents are from God. Part of Matthew 25 records Jesus’ parable of the talents. It doesn’t matter exactly how much talent God has given me. As long as I use those talents in a way that serves to honor and glorify Him, I am doing as He would have me do. Recognizing that these talents are from God not only shows me how I should use those talents, but also how I should view them. Knowing that I have a way with words means that even if I’m not the absolute best at writing or speaking, I should use that talent to write or speak words of encouragement. Even if I’m not the best at something doesn’t mean God won’t use that talent and double it or double the blessings it gives to others. Just because I’ve been given 5 “talents” instead of 10 (as the parable describes) doesn’t mean I can’t use them to be a good and faithful servant of God.
In this article I used a lot of my own personal experiences, talents, and flaws. I obviously say all this hoping you, the reader, will exchange my words and fill in yours. Whatever are you talents, remember that even on your best day, that isn’t what gives you honor in God’s eyes. Whatever are your flaws, remember that even on your worst day, that isn’t going to demean your standing before God. I Peter 3:3-4 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
One thought on “Perfectly Normal”
Beautifully put, Suzie!
Even as adults we can struggle with self image. Thank you for the reminder that our worth is not in what we are in and of ourselves, but only in the beauty of Christ shining in and through us.