Admit it. We’ve all been there.  We’ve all done it.

You get up in the morning and immediately think, “Wow am I looking attractive this morning or what?” Sarcasm kicks in and I’m sure that was probably very far from what you were actually thinking.  In fact, if you are like me, or the majority of 18 almost 19 something teenagers into young adults, you don’t wake up thinking you are hot stuff.

Crawling out of bed after hitting the 6:15 a.m. snooze button a few times, you make your way to the bathroom to see what kind of creature has appeared this morning.  Now let’s see, my hair looks like a bird decided to have its babies and make a nest on top, while my face has an imprint where I accidentally slept on my arm. The perfection of my skin is close to zero, while you know I’ve always wished my teeth could be whiter after years of braces.  The list of imperfections and degrading compliments could go on and on, but only if you choose to allow them.

It can be hard not to conform to the ignominious patterns of today’s pop culture, deathly scary appearances, and picture perfect miens.  I mean seriously, look at the world we live in today, at this very day, age and moment. The TV screens show off the latest top models with perfected angles and views.  Music industries blow out your ear drums with the notion that we have to be like them in order to fit in.  We think we have to have the perfect teeth, hair, skin, body, and nails to be accepted and loved.  But this is one truth, that is etched into society and should more accurately be known as a wretched lie.

I’m not going to sugar coat my life for you, and tell you that I always think I am beautiful, or perfect because in reality it would be the quite opposite.  However, when I come across these deepest times in my life, where I question my beauty, my looks, my imperfect perfections as a perfectionist, I realize that it really doesn’t matter what the majority of this humanity thinks.  Yes, it does matter what I think about myself, and it should not be self-humiliating, painfully inflicting comments, the Devil says is true, but more importantly, it matters what God thinks.

Yes, I am one of those Jesus freaks, and I don’t mean to offend anyone by it, but when I write, I write about God and the beautiful, magical, mysterious conceptions he has conceived into the Earth we live.  I find that it can be so encouraging to know that someone loves you more than anyone on this planet could ever fathom.  That someone thinks you are beautiful and loved and perfect in His eyes.  That we were created in His image, to become more and more divine.  Not to become God himself or all powerful over His authority, but so we could and can become the beautiful beings He created us to be.

You see, I find it more accurate to proclaim that when we look at the image of ourselves, we immediately pick at our flaws instead of pointing out our specialties.  It becomes easier to damage our image than build it up with compliments.  To look into the looking glass staring back at you and see a mess of imperfections rather than a masterpiece created in the image of God, like God.  We begin to think if we could just be thinner, or taller, or prettier, or more athletic, or crazier then the society would learn to accept us.  And I hope not to be the first to burst that bubble. To make that dream of perfection come crashing down, but I want you to realize one small truth:

When you look into that mirror, you are only looking at a poor reflection of who you really are.  Do you realize that you have never actually seen yourself, just a picture or image portrayed in things you have looked at?  God is the only one who should define and make an impact on the meaning of your true beauty.  He is our Creator and we are merely His creation.  The God who took so much time and care to create you uniquely and individually different than anyone else in the entire world, should not deserve to see you bashing on His work.

In the image of God, it is not the outward beauty that matters.  For when a cup is used, you must wash the inside of the cup first, and then the outside, because the inside is what holds that which matters most.  Just like our human bodies, we must first learn to be beautiful on the inside before our outward appearance can really shine (see Matthew 23:25-28).

No matter how we look on the outside, whether it be zit face, or bushy hair and eyebrows all in all, God knows and values us as worth more than anything that could ever compare. “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Songs 4:7).  We are worth more than the purest gold, or richest chocolate diamond Kay Jewelers decides to sell this year.  More precious than the top ten Victoria’s Secret models that walk on the runway, or the movie stars that have had plastic surgery so many times, you no longer recognize their faces.

Our value is not found in the measure by which we weigh ourselves in comparison to the mirror appearing images.  For our life is like an image in a mirror, where we try to rush through life collecting all the praise, and comments and perfections from anyone who will care (see Psalms 39:6 ERV).  Yet in reality, the one who matters most, already accepts and loves you for who you are, not who you think you have to change and become.

Next time you take a look in the mirror and start criticizing yourself, remember this: The girl or guy reflecting back at you is only through the looking glass self.  Who we think we are.  Who we think we have to become.  Who we value and measure ourselves up to be. But no matter what we think, or how we feel, or what we look like, we are beautiful in God’s eyes and that evaluation is worth more than any earthly rating we could ever receive.

You are beautiful.  You are loved.  You are more precious than that airbrushed model or movie star in the magazine.  You are perfect through the looking glass of a perfect God, who created you to be you; from the inside looking out.