I am going to kick off the day with a confession.
One of my biggest pet peeves in life, is reality shows. I despise reality shows. Of any kind. Of any subject. On any channel. Ill just leave it at that.
A couple nights ago, after everyone had gone to sleep and the house was quiet, I flopped down in my bed and began some mindless channel surfing to help me settle down after a busy day.
It is always amazing to me how there are hundreds of channels, but I can never find anything decent to watch! But in my channel surfing, I came across a show that was so bizarre, it caught my attention. I hate to admit that I watched it, but I did.
Then, it broke my heart.
On this particular show, young men and women meet for the first time - in pitch black dark. Then they spend a couple days together in a room - in pitch black dark. They talk and get to know each other - in pitch black dark.
Maybe Im old fashioned, but I just think that is weird - but that wasnt the worst part.
After a few days of hanging out in the dark together, the time would come when the couples would meet - in the light.
These poor women were beside themselves with anxiety as they prepared for their revealing, wondering if the man would like their look, not just their personality.
(Please know that I am NOT man bashing at all - I know that there are many countless men who are wonderful and love the women in their lives for who they are - I am merely repeating what happened on this particular show as a reference point.)
The defining moment came, and each couple stood face to face, in the pitch black dark. Then a spot light appeared on each of them for a few brief seconds, giving them a glimpse of this mystery person they had come to know and adore, in the dark. Afterwards, they would proceed back to the main room, and give their opinion about the other person to their fellow reality show members.
These three ladies on this show were beautiful. Not perfect, but beautiful. Not flawless, but beautiful. Regarding their personalities and values, I only know what they shared during the show, but they seemed to be beautiful on the inside as well.
But all that mattered at this stage of the game - was their physical appearance. Their entire self confidence could be lifted up, or shattered, by the opinions and responses of these men.
After seeing the ladies, the men got back together and proceeded to talk about each of the women... and how they were not what they expected.
According to these men, the women were not as in shape as the women they normally dated. They were not as fashionable as they had hoped. They were not as pretty as the women they usually sought after. They were not as tall, or short, or voluptuous, or whatever physical attribute they felt most important.
Simply put, these ladies were less than perfect. Emphasis on "less than".
Although these men pointed out their imperfections, they did say that they might be able to overlook them, since they had liked them, before they saw what they looked like.
I cannot imagine the feelings of inadequacy that each of them must have been felt as they stood there in silence, knowing they were being judged.
But more importantly, I cannot fathom the overwhelming insecurities that surely swelled in their hearts and minds as they stood there in the spotlight, hoping that someone would see their value.
You could see the worry in their eyes, despite their painted on smiles, as their minds were surely filled with thoughts such as: Will he still like me, now that he knows what I look like? Did he like what he saw? Am I pretty? Will he want me? Am I good enough?
Deuteronomy 26:18 And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.
In Hebrew, the word “POSSESSION” is a highly significant word. It describes the treasures of kings such as in 1 Chronicles 29:3, Ecclesiastes 2:8. These treasures were the kings most valued possessions.
So in this passage in Deuteronomy, the Lord is telling Israel that it will become His most valued possession upon accepting his proposal to believe.
The Lord is telling Israel that it is His treasure chest - his special treasure, and that upon acceptance of Him as Savior, Israel will be what He values most.
God CHOSE them, from among all people, because of their value to Him. He loved them, despite their history of idolatry, unbelief, betrayal, and yes, even imperfections.
He hand picked Israel, His jewels, for His treasure chest, simply because He loved them and knew their value.
Friends - we are now Gods Israel. You. Me. The ladies on that show, who were hanging their self worth and value and confidence on the words of a seemingly total stranger.
I wish I could call each lady that was on that reality show, and tell her that the criticism and judgement she received, was not reality, but merely biased opinions based on self centeredness and shallowness. Biases founded on earthly standards and unrealistic expectations for perfection - by people who are themselves, imperfect.
But if we are honest with ourselves, we are all much like those show guests, at times - hanging our value on the strings attached to someones elses opinion.
Why do we allow others to judge us, and then base our own self worth and value on those opinions?
Why do we play the comparison game, comparing ourselves to others, when we know it only leads to disappointment, causing us to feel as if we are "less than" in some way?
Why do we allow criticism to creep into the deepest most sensitive parts of our hearts, instead of remembering that we are beautiful because of WHOSE we are, not who we are, or what we see in the mirror?
Because we are human. Because we are broken. Because we know we are imperfect.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of the dark world and the spiritual forces of evil.
Emphasis here, on "dark".
The enemy, who lurks in the dark, would love to destroy us through the tearing down of our self esteem. He knows that if he can weaken our self esteem through lies and hurtful words of others, that our faith may become weak as well.
In the dark, and behind the scenes, he works against us, hoping that we will succumb to insecurities; and that we will not believe in our value through Christ; that we will begin to feel "less than".
Sweet friends, today is a new day. A day to stand proud. A day to love yourself.
A day to love whose you are, not just who you are.
A day to see yourself through His eyes, and not your own, or the eyes of someone else.
A day to remember that you are a special treasure, held by God in His holy treasure chest; one unique jewel, precious, and full of luster and beauty in every way.
A day to remember that you are adored - imperfections and all - and that God loves you in the dark, and in the light, with no strings attached.