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Home » Featured Article, Hot Topics, Low Self Esteem & Insecurity, Reflecting On Our Favorites (From the Archives), Tiffany Stuart, Tools 4 Building Your Faith, Vanity, Weight Issues

What Do You See When You Look In The Mirror?

Submitted by on August 21, 2009 – 10:26 am19 Comments

Orginally posted February 9,2009picture1

Written by Tiffany Stuart
(contributing writer from Tea With Tiffany)

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? I used to primp for two hours straight. Drove my parents crazy! I felt better about myself after I curled or straightened my hair, put on makeup, and found just the right pair of jeans and t-shirt.

My 120 “mirror-minutes” had nothing to do with hair brushes, mascara, or brand names jeans. It was deeper. I desperately wanted to mask my insecurities.

I didn’t like my blonde eyelashes, fair skin, weight, shoe size, or my small chest. If a friend complimented my eyes, I’d think, Yeah right, you’ve never seen them without mascara. When I compared myself to air-brushed models, movie stars, or even my friends, I never measured up. No amount of makeup, exercise, or dieting transformed me into my ideal image.

Warped View

Have you ever stood in front of one of those funhouse mirrors? You either look like a flamingo—all legs—or you morph into a squatty, box turtle. We laugh at our out-of-proportion self, but the reality is many of us see ourselves this way everyday. And that’s not funny.

For example, instead of seeing my mostly straight teeth, I zoom in on my couple crooked ones. Instead of seeing my hazel eyes, my only pimple stands out like Mount Acne. Whatever I don’t like expands; the rest shrinks. Sound familiar?

Sounds distorted.

Is your mirror your friend or enemy? Answer honestly.

Think about this, not all mirrors are bad. Interior decorators use mirrors to create an illusion of a bigger space. Mirrors can be helpful or even save us from accidents. My car alone has five mirrors. The rear view mirror and two side mirrors are for my safety. A stranded hiker can be rescued by flashing a mirror.

There are even Scriptures about mirrors. The definition of a mirror is a surface capable of reflecting light. Reflecting light? Interesting! Jesus is considered the light of the world.

So how can we change the way we see ourselves in a mirror?

By spending more time looking through God’s mirror. His Word.

God’s Mirror

God’s mirror has no goopy hairspray residue, better known as media influences. The Bible offers the clearest image of me. Without distortion. The more I seek His truth about who I am, the better off I am when I struggle with my reflection.

Genesis 2:27 says we are made in His image. God’s image is truly amazing! His character includes love, joy, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and so much more. As a Christian, we have His Spirit living in us. That’s beautiful.

Reflecting Glory

How do you feel about your face in the mirror? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says “we with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory,” Notice the word all. If you’re a believer, you reflect God’s glory. Period.

Wow, I need to focus on that, not my physical flaws.

Notice how Isaiah describes Jesus in Isaiah 53:2b: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him. Nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” This amazes me. We sing songs about the beauty of the Lord and yet Jesus wasn’t good looking. Hmm? So when we sing we must mean something else. His beauty runs deeper than the surface or skin. His beauty is found in who He is at heart.

Heart Beauty

The best part is His beauty lives inside you! Yes, you! 1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV) says, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

When was the last time you looked at your heart?

“But you don’t know my heart. I’m jealous. I’m angry all the time. I’m depressed. I want to hurt someone. Myself included.”

Wait a minute. Please be gentle with yourself. God knows you completely and he doesn’t reject you. He loves you. After all, you are His design.

I love Psalm 139. It reminds me of my real identity. My physical appearance is part of God’s design. He formed me in my mother’s womb. God knows my every thought. I guess that means He can handle my uglies. Yours too.

Am I saying don’t care about your looks? Not at all. I’m suggesting that you focus the beauty of God’s heart living in you more than your face and body.

Ever read an obituary that said, “She had perfect skin and a ‘ten’ figure?”

Me neither.

Obituaries focus on the heart. What did the person contribute to society? What did she love? Who did she serve? Think about Mother Teresa. She lived her life ministering to the poor, orphaned, sick, and dying. But she was ordinary looking. She had a big nose, wrinkles, and she dressed different. Yet her beautiful heart marked history.

Mirror Minutes

Here’s a challenge. The next time you’re getting ready in front of your mirror, reflect on what God sees. No more distorted views, okay? I’ve learned to post Scriptures where I need them most. On my mirror. Gazing at who God says I am has helped me learn to love and accept myself. Even with those extra few pounds.

So grab a pen and a sticky note. Here’s your first mirror message: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

19 Comments »

  • admin says:

    Your so welcome. We are glad you found us. Thank you much for sharing your comment.

    It is our hearts that our sees. It is our heart that matters and that we have chosen His Son, Jesus as Lord.

    If you liked this post perhaps you will like this one also:

    http://www.weusedtobeyou.com/the-insatiable-quest-for-beauty-part-1-of-2/

    Make sure you read part 2 to see about a free book giveaway.

  • Princess in training says:

    That is so true! I used to be dead earnest in my pursuit of a beautiful figure and face. I looked with secret envy at the girls in my class. But then the insincerity and shallowness of it just smacked me in the face one day and I realized, hey, if God doesn’t care about my outward appearance, why should I? It.s not like God’s goin to evaluate me on how many facials I’ve had in my life, right? So, anyways, thanks for this awesome post. (P.S: I’m so glad that I’ve stumbled upon this website!!)

  • My sweet Invisible,

    I read your comment and I felt your pain. I cried for you my friend. I’m so sorry you have allowed the enemy to trick you in to looking at yourself this way. I just want to pray for you:

    My Lord,

    I come before you on behalf of my sister. You see her heart and you see her distorted vision. Holy Spirit I asked you please Lord, give her eyes to see that she is a child of The Most High God. Let her receive a revelation of who she is in Christ Jesus. She is a royal priest, a princess, a mighty woman of God, more than a conqueror, destined to rule with Christ Jesus. She is full of your Spirit and therefore so beautiful. She is chosen, redeemed, loved, and cherished. My Lord help her to see this, receive it, and walk confidently in it. I bind the lying spirit that comes to deceive her. I ask that you give her a hunger for your Word like never before, that her mind would be constantly renewed. I thank you that you are doing a mighty work in her life and that you are going to use her to help other women and girls that have suffered some of the things that she has suffered. I thank you that you are using what the enemy meant to destroy her for your glory and to help save others. I trust her in your hands. I ask that you would put mighty women of God around her to mentor her. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Sister, I hate that name for you, because our God sees you and He has not left your side. He sees your hurts and sorrows. He sees your tears and He has even collected them. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

    You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8)

    You have not gone unnoticed!

    You are right, He is molding you into a beautiful, mighty woman of God. He is going to use all the issues that you are facing today, all the trials, to glorify Him. You will be able to one day comfort and speak into someone else’s life who will need to hear what you went through, and how you overcame.

    He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

    Don’t feel like a piece of dirt. You are a child of God. A priceless treasure. A beautiful pearl that our Lord died to save. That’s how valuable you are to God.

    “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! (Matthew 13:45-46)

    I know the feeling of wanting to disappear all too well :( Lately I feel like my life has been overwhelmed with different issues and it all feels too much to bare. Then our Lord confirms that IT IS too much for me to bare ON MY OWN, but I can do all things through Christ Jesus who’s grace is sufficient in me. (Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9)

    Sister, we can’t disappear just yet. We have a work to do. God has a plan to use us to bring others to Jesus and our testimonies are going to bring glory to God. I leave you with my favorite verses;

    Psalm 40:1-3

    I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.
    He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
    He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
    He has given me a new song to sing,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
    Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.

    Write back in ANY TIME. We are here for you sister. We love you. You are NOT alone.

    Sincerely,

    Trophy of Grace

  • Invisible says:

    What do I see when I look in the mirror? I see a young, awkward,insecure, teenage girl. I see a chubby face that I wish was slimmer. I see sad brown eyes that cover up the true feelings that toss and turn inside of me. I see a girl who feels like dirt…someone who just wants to disappear sometimes. I see a girl that has issues, but she’s working on them,slowly. But most of all, I see someone that God is making and molding into the person He wants her to be.

  • admin says:

    What an encouraging comment He Loves Me The Way I Am!! Thanks so much for commenting :)

  • HeLovesMeTheWayIAm says:

    What do i see in the mirror……I see short curly hair a girlish face one dimple and brown eyes i see a girl who’s not a size 3 or 7 i’m a size 16…i’m 11 and 150 pounds see i’m a REAL girl i’m probably never going to be super skinny i might become a good healthy weight for my age when i’m older but my friend and my mother says i’m perfect size and i’m tall.So you don’t have to be a size 2 be pretty even i still have problems with myself you might even need a therapist.Please i beg you if you don’t look like you want don’t cover youself with makeup surround yourself with boys (it doesn’t work)surround yourself with GOD good true friends and eating healthier eating treat yourself at least once a week maybe twice with a little treat but don’t try killing your self or drugs or ANY OF THAT.Just Turn To The LORD.

  • admin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your comment God’s Princess. You are so right about when we’ve found our confidence in God we will begin to overflow with beauty from within. Anyways beauty fades but a woman who reverence God will be praised (Proverbs 31:30)

  • I always thought beauty came from being size 0, having the perfect body, long healthy hair and clear skin. Oh, and let’s not forget a big smile with perfect straight teeth. I would compare myself to the models on the magazine, to actresses and to the people around me…”I’m too tall, I need to lose weight. God, why did you make me like this?!” were the thoughts that occupied my mind.

    But God showed me that what He cares about is my heart’s beauty. I was getting to the point of having that beauty in the outside, but I was so obsessed with it that in the inside I felt empty and ugly.

    Instead of comparing yourself to worldly things, compare yourself to JESUS. That’s the only beauty that matters. If you’ve found that inner confidence in God, that beauty will overflow to the outside. If you haven’t found that yet, seek it with all your being, it’s worth it.

    “As a face is reflected in water, so a person is reflected by his heart. ” – Proverbs 27:19

  • Beloved by Him says:

    Dear Sister,

    Thanks for your comments; and you are right when you say that our focus should be God’s focus. I think that’s what the writer’s point is: it’s not wearing makeup that’s wrong—but feeling the need to wear makeup to help with certain insecurities is more the issue. We need to ask ourselves why we are feeling insecure about our features, and see if there’s something in our thinking that needs to be renewed on the inside, instead of being covered over on the outside.

    I know the perfect example of someone who had a serious makeup dependency: me! For years, I actually carried my makeup around in a box like a tool kit, and I took great pride in the way I could use makeup to get the most out of my face. I thought I was something else, but in reality I was making myself into someone else—someone who thought she would be more accepted, more liked, and more desirable just because she could make herself “prettier” with makeup. I believe I did a lot more damage to my spirit in the way I used makeup than if I had been brave and confident enough to depend on it far less, if at all.

    I know that’s just my story, and not everyone has those kinds of insecurities. Still, it’s important for us to know what God says about how we should carry ourselves, and what kind of image we should portray to the world. Here are a few scriptures that help us see His perspective:

    “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (I Peter 3:3-4, NIV)

    “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Cor. 6:19-20, NKJV)

    This one’s great:

    “And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.” (I Tim. 2:9-10, The Message)

    “So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to Him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to Him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect.” (Rom. 12:1-2, NCV)

    Again, makeup itself is not bad (I Cor. 6:12, 10:23). It’s how and why we use it that needs to be submitted to God, as we ask Him to reveal our hearts, change our thinking, and make us more like Him. I still wear makeup (especially when my dark circles are starting to look like carry-on bags, and my eyebrows are almost invisible), but I need to be sure that I am properly decorating my temple, not making myself an idol. I pray that God will keep all our hearts pure before Him, so that we can accurately reflect on our faces the intents and purposes of His heart.

    Much love,

    Beloved by Him

  • Screwup says:

    I think a lot of stuff in this article is really great and I love all the verses. But, there is one thing that’s in here that I just don’t think is entirely true: Feeling the need to wear makeup is fine. There really isn’t anything wrong with wearing makeup. I understand there being a such thing as distorted self-image, and that’s not good, and should be corrected. But, the reason is that it can lead to damaging actions. If a girl doesn’t like her appearance and wearing makeup makes her look better, that’s fine. For me, unless I’m completely by myself, I have to wear makeup. Makeup is there for girls who want to improve their appearance and can actually really help people feel better about themselves and be more confident. Obviously, it shouldn’t be an obsession, because our focus should be God’s focus, and He is definately not as focused on our physical imperfections as we are. But, I had Christian friends telling me that always wearing makeup was being insecure. Honestly, it’s a helpful, totally acceptable solution to insecurities reguarding your looks. I’m not trying to be critical or anything, I just know from excperience that people saying this isn’t an ok option can stress people out needlesly. Thank you all so much for all the time you put into giving prayer and advice to people. You really show God’s love through this ministry.

  • Beloved by Him says:

    Friend, that is NOT how God sees you! Read what Psalm 139:13-15 says,

    “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God–you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.” (the Message)

    God planned you exactly the way He wanted you to look, and was there every moment as you were being formed. He made you in His image, and created you to give Him glory (Ps. 108:1, Gen. 1:26).

    So the question is, why are you so critical of yourself? Are you comparing yourself to some false ideal that the world has asserted as “beauty”? Is there something about you that is beyond your control that you wish you could change (a scar, skin blemishes, etc)? Or are you feeling bad about something on the inside that has caused you to incorrectly see how you look outside? Whatever it is, you need to start accepting the truth about how precious you are to God, beginning with how much He, the God of the universe, loves you:

    “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying , ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’” (Jer. 31:3)

    God has always loved you, will continue to love you, and wants to spend eternity with you. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are permanently rooted in His love, which it so great and powerful it can’t fully be comprehended by the human mind (Eph. 3:17-20). And the Holy Spirit is pouring out His love in your heart and giving you hope every day (Rom. 5:5). You are really, truly loved, girl!

    If you are comparing yourself to others, stop!! That’s a lie that the enemy uses to destroy the lives of countless girls and women, as they try to measure up to the world’s standards of beauty (I John 2:16). This world is Satan’s playground, and he is the father of lies (John 8:44). He wants to keep us jumping through hoops—starving ourselves, changing our looks, dressing immodestly—so that we can feel “accepted.” This is a bunch of garbage. God wants His girls healthy, well-cared for, living lives of peace, rest, and joy (3 John 2, Ps. 103:5, Ps. 23).

    One of the most important scriptures we can apply to our lives is Romans 12:1-2. It teaches us to not act or think like the unsaved world, but to change our thinking by applying God’s word (His thoughts and will) to our daily lives. It says,

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
    This scripture changed my life forever. Through it, God taught me to stop thinking and acting like the world, and to start thinking and meditating on His word and His thoughts about me, and how I should view myself. It’s important to see in these verses that surrendering our thoughts, our bodies, and our actions is our “reasonable service” to God. It’s true—in light of all that He has done and continues to do for us, how much He loves and cares for us—should we really have an issue with doing things His way, which is the best way (Ps. 18:30)?

    If you’re down on yourself about something that’s out of your control, then please remember that God truly does use all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). God can use an affliction in our lives not only to teach us about Himself and His love, acceptance, and provision, but also so that we can comfort others with the comfort we receive from Him (II Cor. 1:4-5). If there’s something about you that you truly can do nothing about right now, then maybe you can pray for His grace to accept it, and for Him to change your mind about it, because by it He is working in you something more special and glorious than if He were to just change you on the outside (II Cor. 4:17). He could be teaching you patience, faith, and perseverance, which are more valuable than gold (I Peter 1:7, James 1:7).

    And if this is about something inside of you that is weighing on your heart, making you feel like less than you are in God’s sight, I would encourage you to take it to Him, to the cross of Christ, and ask Him to remove this burden. If there’s sin in your life, confess it to Him and He will forgive you and make you clean of any unrighteousness (I John 1:9). If you feel shame because of something you’ve done or someone else has done to you, know that there is no fear or shame in God’s love, and that He does not afflict Christians with shame—He redeems and restores what the enemy takes from us (I John 4:19, Rom. 8:28, Is. 54:4, 61:7).

    Let God heal those places in your heart that have been damaged by any wrong thinking in your life. Any thoughts that say you should see ugly in anything about you are completely, totally wrong. You are precious and honored in God’s sight (Is. 43:4). Get into the word and ask Him to show you how much He loves you. I know He will!!

    Love,
    Beloved by HIm

  • kiraboo!~!! says:

    i see ugly when i look n the mirror:(

  • I was just listening to this song while I was working and I thought of this posting and the comments left here. I hope that this encourages everyone who comes to this page the way it encouraged me.

    Here’s Mandisa with True Beauty

  • Gabie says:

    Why are really pretty people who aren’t necessarily so nice surrounded by many friends? Well, the principle you mentioned about beauty being so much more important in our character or on the inside is true (1 Tim 4:8) but we live in a world where Hollywood dictates the definition of beauty for the majority of the people but it won’t be forever.(1 Jn 2:16-17)

    We need to always realize that God as Creator is the only one who has the true definition of anything including beauty. The world cares more about living in the moment and looking their best. The emotions of those around them and how they could be feeling is last on their mind.(Jn 17:17,Pv 31:10-31)

    We agree with you that beauty doesn’t have to come in a size 0 to 4. The real goal of our physical body should be to be healthy so we can be productive specially for the LORD to use us. Don’t cave in to thinking that you are alone in this battle. Many other girls go through the same thing.

    I am certainly on your side. I feel a bit sad that your dad may be acting a bit carelessly with comments about your diet. Please draw near to God who is your only perfect heavenly Father (Heb 13:5-6). He will know how to comfort you in times of need. He will know how to help you gain self control in every area of your life so you can determine what a healthy diet would be for you to keep. I am sure you are gorgeous in God’s eyes and ultimately HE is the only one who really matters.

    With regards to sharing your faith…I must say this is hardly ever an easy thing to do (Mt 5:11-12). However, we must do it out of obedience to our God(Mt 28:19. Alot of people won’t welcome what we might have to say about Jesus, but I can guarantee you that if you let the Holy Spirit lead your conversation you will sense when He is opening a door (Rom 8:14-15). Our responsibility is to live the Gospel out loud and when HE guides us to say a word, we need to go for it in His power.

    in HIM,

    Gabie

  • anonymous says:

    I know that beuty is sooo much more important on the inside then out,and if you were aroundd me you would almost never hear me talking aboit what ilokk like or what ithink other people think i look like, but sometimes i just see really pretty people who have a lot of friends.Its not that i want to be popular,but people just seem to wannt to talk to pretty people,even if those people arent nice.I want to be able to tell people about jesus,but they have to talk to me first, or at least not look annoyed wheni go talk to them.
    Oh,and by the way,i dont think size 0 4 people are pretty.I think people with a little meat are really beautiful,bbt noone else seems to.And my dad is always like”so ur not on your diet anymore?”hen im easting like spaghetti or something.Ughh!

  • Dear Sister,

    The writer of this posting, Tiffany Stuart as that what you to know that God is looking at the beauty in our hearts. He also suggested that you read Psalm 139.

    This is a great Psalm because helps us realize how intimately and personal God knows and loves us.

    The first thing I want to tell you is that you are not alone in this situation. There are many of us that know we are precious in God’s eyes and that He thinks we are beautiful, but when it comes to looking in the mirror we see a different us.

    I know it is very hard and painful to believe that you are not pretty. It could very well come from the influence of the world. It is hard because we live in a world where sizes 0 to 4 is considered pretty in the world’s eyes. If you are larger than that one could feel less than attractive.

    I want to encourage you to look in side yourself and search your heart. With a little faith, self-control and determination you can make changes in your life style that will make a difference in your weight. Start small and have a goal that you want to reach. By doing something everyday walking, exercising and adjustments in your eating habits you will see a difference and you will better to as work toward reaching your goal.

    My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11,

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. There the Lord is telling us that He will give us hope and a future.”

    Grab on to that scripture and start doing little changes in your life style and know that God will never live you or forsake you in your trials. Believe me I know that loosing weight is a trial. He will be there to encourage us in our journey and I will be praying for you, asking God to guide you every step of the way to your goal. Please let me know how well you are doing as you start doing little changes in your life style. I believe in time you will succeed and when you look in the mirror you will be beautiful inside and out!!!!

    Also sister please remember that true beauty is more than what is on the outside of a woman. A beautiful woman is one that fears the Lord. All other physical beauty will fade. Look at what Proverbs 31:30,

    “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”

    Love you bunches,

    His Precious Gift.

    Here are some other postings that may help you.

    http://www.weusedtobeyou.com/category/common-subjects/weight-issues/

  • anonymous says:

    Well when i look in the mirror i see a person with great beuty potential but then i look at my body and see fat and flab.And im not over exaggeratting.I want to change it,not for other people but for myself,so that ican be healthy but i dont know how.It really gets me down sometimes,especially when isee all these skkinny people.I know God thinks im beautiful and he created me and knew me,but i dont think im pretty.

  • Jan Parrish says:

    Great post. That verse got me through my teenage years.

    Oddly, I used to hate my skin. I used to wish I was African American so I didn’t have to worry about tanning. One day I asked my DH what physical attribute he liked best about me and he said my skin. I was shocked. Now just I embrace the paleness and rejoice that the one thing I hated is the one thing my husband likes best. It was a God thing for sure.

  • B His Girl says:

    Tiffany, I love this. Most of us get stuck in the wrong mirror. I remember when I first realized God knew everything about me and was still’talking’ to me. Simply amazing. He loved us first, knowing all our imperfections.
    We can only reflect what we look at. I want others to see Jesus in me, not the fine lines and not so fine ones! B

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