Finding Your Worth
DL, I want to read this post. Write it.
On the blog here, we have the option to edit each other's posts, and we often use this option to leave each other little notes while we blog-stalk each other. Usually we delete these little notes, but I liked this one from AB so I decided to keep it. I was actually considering not writing this post at all because I wasn't sure how to write about what I wanted to say, but that little note has motivated me to go ahead and try anyway.
The thing about being a teenager is that no matter how much you say you don't care what other people think, it will never be one hundred percent true. I don't know why that is, maybe it's just a component of growing up or a side effect of hormones or something. And obviously this concept applies to other demographics besides just teens, but since I am a teen, I see it most prevalently in my own community.
Something else that is most prevalent in the adolescent community is social media and technology. Technology has evolved to the point that it is so unbelievably easy to make yourself appear to be more than you are: smarter, (spell check), prettier (filters), wiser (the endless websites dedicated to tacky and meaningful quotes that people always put under their selfies), and all around more perfect (photoshop, that '360' app). While stuff like that is mind-blowingly interesting and innovative, it means that people who are beautiful on the inside now think that beauty comes from the outside, and they use all these apps to make themselves seem like something they're not. Then they upload these falsified versions of themselves on Instagram (or Twitter or Facebook or wherever) and wait for the likes and comments to pour in. What I'm getting at here is that nowadays it seems like teens, especially girls, measure their worth by the number of likes they get and the number of compliments people pay them. I have a friend who literally deletes pictures she's posted on Instagram if they get less than like 20 likes! As if they never existed! And she looks at those pictures with less likes and thinks she looks ugly in them even if she looked perfectly fine, and tries to figure out what to change so her next post will be better. It legitimately makes me sad because she's such an amazing person with a great sense of humor and so many good qualities, but it seems like the only qualities she values anymore are the ones that people compliment her on.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if what you're fishing for is compliments, so be it. Everyone cares what people think of them, and everyone thrives to a certain extent on compliments, I'm certainly no exception. I was reading back through my journal to an entry from a few months ago where I was talking about this new dress I got and how four people complimented me on it, and I remembered exactly what each of them said and wrote the compliments down!! Not my proudest moment, let me tell you. But maybe we should be looking for those compliments elsewhere. I mean how much sense does it make for imperfect people to be giving other imperfect people compliments based entirely on social constructs, telling people they're beautiful simply because they fit the modern design of what is considered beautiful. And if you want a genuine compliment, you won't find it in a comment on one of your selfies because selfies only show the you that you have manufactured for the Internet, and not the real you that has interests and beliefs and values other than finding the perfect lighting or perfecting your "selfie face".
I know this may sound cliche, or even a little preachy, but if you want a real compliment that is directed towards you personally as an individual who is beautiful on the inside and who was created for more than just vapid internet validation, then maybe you should crack the Bible open. There are literally hundreds of wonderful compliments for you--the real you--right there in the word. Here are just a few:
1 Peter 3:4
"...your inner self...the unfailing spirit of a gentle and quiet spirit...is of great worth in God's sight"
"A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
"I chose you when I planned creation."
"You are fearfully and wonderfully made."
1 John 3:1
"It is my desire to lavish my love on you."
"My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore."
"I rejoice over you with singing."
"You are my treasured posession."
"I love you, even as I love my son Jesus."
"I gave up everything I love so that I might gain your love."
That is just a tiny tiny sampling of all the amazing compliments and encouragements God has for you. He loves us so so much it's not even comprehensible. His love for us makes all the petty compliments and Instagram likes mean absolutely nothing in comparison. So if you're feeling bad about yourself, just take a look at His word and see all the amazing compliments He gives you. They are innumerable and beautiful and will make you feel like a million bucks. You are worth so much more to Him than 100 likes on social media. Just remember that.