Reflections from imperfections
Reflections from my own imperfections
Imperfections--- the common denominator of every living thing. This infamous reality among us is most specially highlighted in and by women. Although, in this article I am putting our “physical” imperfections under the spotlight. A separate discussion is called for in regards to our inner (sinful) defectiveness. (I may have written about it in my past articles. You can search for it if you prefer to.)
Secondly, I find it significant to note that these reflections are woven from past and present experiences that God has led me through. It is also the product of scriptures authority and influence which is, of course, the work of the Holy Spirit. And yeah, it is evidence of my weakness and natural tendency to be preoccupied by flesh-inspired insecurities and the world’s many frivolities. Even so, I do hope that this could be a source of encouragement and enlightenment to all who stumbles upon it. Let us learn from each other’s mistakes and perhaps listen to some good advice, too.
First reflection: "YOU THINK SO?"
This was where I first started and sadly, I sometimes still pay a visit to. This is the kind of thinking that wraps our worth around the cruel and foolish opinion of ourselves and society. I was personally completely abused by the countless “you think so?” that I have asked. It’s when the society constantly nitpicks flaws, and when we, ourselves, join in the propaganda. “Oh your nose is too big.” “Your skin is too oily.” “You’re too fat.” “Your color is not the right shade.” “You’re too tall.” “Your angles are not right.” These are only some of the many vindictive comments that we bombard ourselves on a daily basis. And instead of fighting it with the truth we simply say, “You think so?” Without realizing that it is actually a yell of surrender and a preliminary for depression.
This phase is where self-confidence is at its lowest level. It is where we sit in the open as easy targets for all those insults and malice. Where we abuse our bodies and torture our mentality just so we can “meet” such heinous demands. It is where we gear towards the debilitating habit of feeding on other people’s approval. And for what? Acceptance? Affirmation? Praise? I exhort everyone to give it a serious thought before valuing such thoughts from the said audience. Remember that they are not saying those contumelious remarks to better yourself for your good, nor are they scrutinizing you for moral correction. Those kind of words comes not from a heart that cares. Those words can only descend from the realm of hate, apathy and insecurity. Shall we now let it take an esteemed place in our lives? No, we shall not.
Second reflection: "SO WHAT?"
The first reflection talked about the defeated enslaving phase of dealing with physical imperfections, this time I would like to discuss the opposite of it. It is the aggressive approach that I once believed was the right way to handle detractors and society’s taunting. It is the attitude of volatile pride and boastful confidence. I indeed literally felt instant confidence and self-assurance which was at some point a good thing. In fact, I somehow regarded no more the scrutiny that once haunted me. But if back then I fed on their approval, now I was getting drunk from my overflowing self-approval. “So what if you say that?” “So what if I’m fat?” “So what if I’m skinny?” “So what with what you say? I don’t care!” Yes, I felt empowered but I also slowly realized how proud and stubborn I was turning into. That is when I was taught that “so what?” is as addictive and corrupting as “you think so?”
You might think that I’m confusing you since I advised not to listen to such hate in the “You think so?” section, then all of the sudden speak against not listening to it in this section. Please don’t misunderstand. The point here is that we should not resort to egotistical measures to solve our self-confidence crisis. The danger here is when we get too absorbed with ourselves that we shut out all voices, including the ones we ought to listen to. We even end up shutting out our own conscience and convictions. Our self is very greedy and once it gets a taste of unhindered flattery and adoration it never wants to stop.
Another thing to note is that we ought not to repay hate with hate. I have found myself retaliating in such an ungodly manner that I turn myself into a merciless critic to those who were the same with me. Hate was given back, forgiveness was withheld. And as a Christian, I was later convicted with my actions. Remembering that we are commanded to love, forgive and overcome evil with good (see Romans 12).
Third reflection: "YOU KNOW WHAT?"
This last reflection that I have chosen to share with you is my personal favorite. This time, as you can see, the question no longer depends for an answer from us nor the people around us. This is the time we get to give the right answer after being given it. We no longer depend on opinions but on the truth. As Christians, our truth is in the Bible, it is Jesus himself. And that is where we should draw our confidence from. “You are ugly!” “Your eyes look funny,” “You are not enough!” etc. Answer- “You know what? I know I’m not ugly because God’s word says that I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.”(Psalm 139:14) “You know what? It’s okay for my eyes to look like this. I understand if you find it funny though, and that’s okay for it is your opinion. And you know what? I’m choosing not to be obsessed with the physical because there are far more important issues to be busied with, higher goals to pursue, and a much purer purpose to live out.” “You know what? You’re right. I am not enough. I am not enough to live out this life on my own. I am not enough to merit my own salvation. But you know what? I am more than enough because Jesus Christ loves me and saved me from my sins. He has given me my worth, a worth that nothing and no one can taint nor destroy. I am enough in Christ.” (Ephesians 2:4-7, Jeremiah 31:3, 1 Peter 2:9)
This is the new approach I’m pursuing and sticking with—the remembrance of my identity in Christ. I have also learned that it is a practice that should be applied in all of life’s troubles and criticisms. I understand that not all of you who gets to read this shares the same faith and I respect that. But I do hope that you would give this much thought. Examine the different identities that this world endorses, even those that we ourselves create. Examine it closely and honestly decide if that can really carry you through. See if it gives you everlasting love and worth. If it doesn’t work, you know what? You could always come to Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria!