Isn’t Gen Z humor… weird? We genuinely think it’s hilarious how much we hate ourselves. I’ve seen countless memes about how the writer believes they are “human trash.” How did our culture get to this point, where self-hatred has become a joke?
Even as pop culture preaches self-love, young people loathe themselves more and more. Why do we hate ourselves so much? What can change our minds and help us learn to accept who we are?
Two Kinds Of Self-Hatred
I have spoken with many young women who struggle with their self-image. Interestingly, I have found that there are actually two kinds of self-hatred. Some young ladies despise everything about who God created them to be. They hate their body, their personality, and their abilities. Other girls despise themselves because they cannot seem to overcome the sin in their life. Today, I want to discuss the first kind.
Self-hatred is dangerous. It traps us in negative mental patterns. Repeated negative thoughts create mental pathways in our brains. Over time, these pathways become stronger.
This is how Satan traps us in lies about who we are.
Satan’s goal is to keep us so occupied with ourselves that we forget about God. He will constantly remind us of everything we dislike about ourselves so that we start to believe we are horrible people, that we will always be horrible people, and that not even God can change us.
God Created Our Personalities To Reflect Him
God created you. And He didn’t just create you arbitrarily: He made you after His own image.
Our personalities reflect part of who God is. Are you creative? You are a reflection of God, the Creator of all the stars in the sky, and all the tiniest creatures we cannot see. Are you compassionate? You are a reflection of God who is the Father of the fatherless. Are you a hard worker? You are a reflection of the God who never rests in His pursuit of His children.
We should love who God made us to be, because who we are is a reflection of God Himself, yet this should not make us proud. Our personalities aren’t our own: they are a gift from God. Instead of being prideful, we should be grateful. We should shape our personalities into a clearer reflection of who God is.
Our personalities are not incorruptible. Each of us has unique strengths that glorify God. But we also each have unique weaknesses that make some sins more alluring. Satan can use our tendencies to tempt us.
Rose, do you struggle to accept your personality?
The world says, “Just be yourself.” But God says, “Be more like Me.”
Let’s look at our personalities. Which part reflects who God is? Let’s be genuinely grateful that God made us the way we are! And let’s resolve to fight when Satan uses our personality to tempt us to sin. In God’s grace, we can accept who we are.
God Fashioned Your Body To Be Beautiful In Its Own Way
Let me tell you a secret: God isn’t very concerned about conventional beauty. He is far more interested in your spiritual life than in making sure His daughters are celebrated by society’s standard of beauty.
I vividly remember a conversation I had with a young woman, who told me she prayed every day for God to make her beautiful. I had to pause for a moment. I knew this girl. She was pretty, in an elusive way. Her red hair and tall frame reminded me of a pre-Raphaelite shepherdess, and her smile was so adorable. It made me happy just to see her smile. I wonder what God thought of her request.
If I were to hazard a guess, I would say He was thinking, “I already made you beautiful, my daughter.”
I have never met a girl who wasn’t beautiful in her own way. Most of us aren’t supermodels, but each of us has something uniquely precious about her body. Yet while beauty is a good gift God gives us, it’s not our body’s primary purpose.
Our Bodies Are Not Our Own
Why didn’t God just make us spirits, if He wanted us to be after His own image? God gave us bodies so that we can love God, love others, and glorify Him better. Isn’t that more important than being beautiful in the eyes of the culture?
Maybe, while we fret over our “imperfections,” God looks at us and says, “Look at My child! Her eyes are full of stars because she sees My Wonders. Her smile is like sunshine because she sends it out to warm all those she meets. Her arms are strong like an oak because she uses them to comfort those who are hurting.”
Next time you look in the mirror, instead of thinking about your flaws, start thanking God for the gift of a body. We all have things we would change about our bodies. We live in a fallen world-it’s hard to be content with our bodies when we see other girls and wish we were just as beautiful. Yet when we choose to give thanks, we can start to appreciate how God made us.
Rose, you are beautifully and wonderfully made. Don’t let Satan use the way you were made to tempt you into discontentment, or self-hatred. God loves the way He made you. So appreciate your personality! Take care of your body. And thank God for the way He made you.
God loves you. Don’t hate yourself.
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”
Bethany’s name means “bright city on a hill.” This is her mission in life, to illuminate the beautiful things and shine God’s light where there was darkness. Bethany leads The Wilting Rose Project, a ministry of encouragement for young women who feel their struggles make them worthless. She writes fairytales heavily inspired by her love of the forest, where she spends many of her mornings soaking in the uniquely Minnesotan beauty. Her blog includes more personal documentation of her journey the last few years with Lyme disease and Toxic Mold illness and the journey of healing she is on.