“This is a picture of my mom!”, read the title atop a less-than-stunning depiction of me. It was a Mother’s Day card made by one very elated kindergartner. And much to my surprise, the inside contained an “All About Mom” section. This was where my five-year old explained that his mom’s favorite color was pink, something she always forgets to do is exercise, and she is as tall as a shelf. This I found adorable, quite funny, and about 99% true. What had me stuck a bit, though, was the front cover. My eyes appeared to be lop-sided. I was bald except for two strands of unruly hair. And my dress was about ten feet longer than my legs. “Oh, buddy this is my favorite card ever!” I lied the best lie I had in me. This rendition was absolutely not my favorite. And my unspoken thoughts said something more of, “Dear Lord, please heal my child’s spatial perception as well as any future desire to pursue a career in fine arts”. No, no, no… the only thing he would hear out of my mouth was that I had waited all week to see his card and that I loved him beyond measure.
Moments later, I pondered what would’ve happened had I been an insensitive bully and told him his skills really needed improvement and that I was less than super proud of him. His little heart would’ve been crushed and his shining little eyes would’ve welled up in tears. This was his carefully crafted masterpiece, etched in love out of number two pencils and crayon. It was beautiful to him and that’s all that mattered.
Unfortunately, I find myself being an insensitive bully to my own creator on a daily basis. I find myself passing by mirrors and rolling my eyes. I hear my desires constantly longing to align with the world’s measures of success. I distance myself from my maker because I don’t think I’m worth the return on investment.
Perhaps, I’m not alone in this. And I feel that a sincere reflection of David’s words in Psalm 19 helps us understand what standard is most important. He says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 ESV)
I believe this text is surely applicable to the subject of self-perception. Do my words and heart portray that I am valuable and wonderfully made? Not only to others, but more importantly to myself? Sometimes our standards become so quickly dictated by culture or worse, specifically edited media. We diminish our impact on the world because it doesn’t look the same as another’s. But it wasn’t designed to. That’s just how incredible of an artist we have as a father. Not a single one of us have an identical set of fingerprints to work with.
Shifting perspective to the greatness of our almighty creator… Are the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart declaring honor to the supreme architect of all things in existence? Does my speech respect the composer of every colossal galaxy in the universe as well as every microscopic cell of humankind? How do I treat his creation? Do I strive to see the beauty, gifts, and talent that are completely unique to me? Or do I unintentionally mock the work of art he’s devotedly designed?
My dear sisters, can we band together in overcoming negative talk and attitudes regarding ourselves? Can we begin the process of viewing ourselves and our character as our artist formed us? With infinite love, compassion, and extravagant attention to detail?
Can we join forces in walking in our heavenly Father’s approval, rather than seeking impossible man-made ideals? Paul gives us this gentle reminder: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 ESV)
Lord, let our words and our hearts seek to please you. Not us. Not me. Not them. Not anyone, but you. We thank you and praise you that we are more than acceptable in your sight, through your son Jesus. Help us to see ourselves how you see us. Thank you for your grace, mercy, and the incredible amount of love you’ve poured into each one of us.