Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

            It is no wonder that so many people struggle with self-image today.  Beautiful people reign across the television channels and movie theatres; the rich and powerful are highlighted in the media; and, people with perfect teeth and immaculate attire are splashed in front of us in the daily barrage of advertisements.  Meanwhile, the rest of us 99% of the population quickly notice that we do not measure up to such a standard.  It only takes a few minutes of people watching at the local grocery store or mall to realize that the vast majority of persons have less than perfect bodies and do not have much of a budget to live like the other less than 1% of the famous.

            Into this dark abyss of feeling depressed about one’s image enters the biblical truth that each and every one of us, no matter our station in life, is “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  The Creator God took great care to make us and form us just the way he wants us.  The psalmist, David, praised God for the way we were created.  The real standard from which we ought to judge ourselves is this:  God knows us intimately, inside and out, and he does not condemn us or shame us but loves us wholly.  Why? Because he is the one who made us.

            So, rather than wasting our emotional energy and our mental faculties on wishing we looked different or were more like so-and-so who seems to always have it all together, try practicing what David did:  praising God.  Whenever we think we do not measure up to the standard by which we compare ourselves, the only real measurement is grace.  No matter who we are, the entire race of humanity has been created in the image of God, and, on that basis alone, we have inherent value, worth, and majesty.  Let us, then, treat ourselves and others with the yardstick of grace.

            O God, thank you that I am wonderfully made in your likeness.  I praise you that I am fully accepted, even when I do not accept myself.  In Jesus Christ you have demonstrated the height of your love and mercy.  May this grace be with me every day so that I will conduct myself in a manner worthy of being part of the human family.  Amen.

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