by LaRae McGuire
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you hoping to see someone who is valued because she meets the world's standards of beauty or performance in some area of your life?
The story of Snow White is a vivid illustration of what happens when we search for our identity in the mirror. Snow White's stepmother peered into her mirror every day looking for affirmation of her beauty. When she learned that her beauty was surpassed by that of Snow White, she was overcome by insecurity and jealousy, with disastrous results.
Do we also find ourselves battling insecurity or jealousy when we feel we don't measure up? Do we look to other people as our mirror and determine our identity based on their response to us?
My life was plagued by the tyranny of people-pleasing and dependence on others' approval for my sense of well-being. I continually monitored the responses of those around me and based my behavior on how they seemed to perceive me, constantly making adjustments according to the feedback I sensed from others. If friends expressed affirmation of my performance or my appearance I felt good about myself. But if I sensed indifference or disapproval my self-worth plummeted. My identity was determined by how I viewed myself through the lens of other people's opinions.
But the truth is that my identity is not determined by how others see me. My identity is determined by how God sees me. And the same is true for you. He wants you to know that you are dearly loved and highly valued because God created you. (John 16:27, NLT)
God says to you, "I have called you by name; you are mine...you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you." (Isaiah 43:1,4) God found great delight in creating you according to his perfect plan for you. He shaped you inside and out; body and soul, you are marvelously made, and He rejoices over you! (Psalm 139:13-14, MSG; Zephaniah 3:17, NLT)
God values you as a partner in His kingdom and you have a vital purpose to fulfill in this world. You possess gifts and talents and passions that match the wonderful plans He has for your life. (I Corinthians 12:7, 27, NIV; Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) He made you with a unique combination of personality traits and abilities that this world needs.
So the next time you look in the mirror, declare the truth of who you are - God's cherished daughter, dearly loved and highly valued!