Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things believes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7
Would you do something for me? Go to a mirror and look in it. What is the first thing you see? What is the first thing you think? What is the first thing you say to yourself as you look at your reflection?
If you are like me, there is a whole lot of negative conversation that occurs at the intersection of me and a mirror. The same can be said for me, selfies, and window reflections.
“Wow! I didn’t realize I looked so lumpy. I could stand to lose some weight.”
“When did I start to look so old?”
“Maybe I should get my teeth bleached.”
“Weight lifting really isn’t helping, my arms are still flabby.”
“I can never get my hair right. Why is it so frizzy?”
“Gosh, I need to clean this bathroom.”
The woman in my mirror will never measure up to the expectations that are placed upon her. They are unrealistic, unkind, unforgiving, unattainable and untrue. The woman in the mirror is trapped in the snare of comparison. She is being held captive by a reflection that is less than perfect. She is a prisoner of her perception of the person she thinks she is supposed to be.
Our scripture passage today is usually applied to our relationships with others, but today I want us to apply it to our relationship with ourselves. Just as I would never belittle my friends, I need to stop belittling myself. When I look in a mirror and state to myself all the ways I am not measuring up, I am comparing myself to a standard I cannot achieve. I am using the wrong benchmark to measure my worth. I am not loving myself as the woman God created me to be. I have replace truth with lies. Mercy with judgment. Compassion with unkindness. Hope with despair.
I Corinthians 13 reveals that to overcome all this negative talk, I need to show love, express love and speak truth. And, I need to do those things not only for others, but for myself as well. I need to replace the negative comments I say to myself with positive truths that God says about me. I need to stop comparing myself to my impossible self-imposed standard and start rejoicing in the gifts God has given me. I need to replace the lies of my past with the truth of today. I need God to help me see what He sees when I look at my reflection.
I need to speak God's truth to myself.
Go look in the mirror again. Tell the woman you see that she is loved. She is accepted. She is powerful. She is amazing. She is enough. Then tell God “thank you” for making her just the way He did and ask him to help her believe it in the deepest part of her soul.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.