We see them all the time. They’re everywhere we look. Those side-by-side comparison photos. The shameful, embarrassing, sad “befores” on the left and the proud, beautiful, glowing “afters” on the right. When someone achieves a goal, it’s certainly worth celebrating! But those images can stir up so much insecurity, amiright? Why is that? Because it leaves room for the enemy of our souls to whisper, “See her there on the left? That’s you. You’re the ‘before’ photo.”  And what does that mean? That we’re not good enough the way we are.

And this is true for so many of us, no matter our size. The lens of a skewed self-image doesn’t discriminate when selecting its next victim. It makes itself at home, uninvited, in nearly all of us. We’re inundated with photoshopped images of already-stick-thin models, but let’s be honest. We can’t blame it all on our culture. I don’t have babes of my own yet, but I do have two nieces. I occasionally catch myself saying things like, “These pants make me look huge,” or other negative things about my body, right in front of them. Whether we realize or not, we are hurting each other. Even when we think we’re paying a compliment by saying something like, “Wow, you look so skinny!”  I don’t want my daughters to hear me criticize my body because it will ingrain in their minds that they should be doing the same of themselves.

I know this is a touchy subject. After all, shouldn’t we care for our bodies? By all means! Scripture tells us that as believers, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit so we are to honor God with them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Should we strive for health? Yes, absolutely. But should we suffer shame when our bodies aren’t the world’s standard of perfection? Absolutely not. And let’s be honest – in our culture, that’s hard work.

Sisters, please hear me. God made YOU just right! Don’t you find it interesting that He designed us all to be unique from one another? Out of every person He has created, there isn’t a duplicate of you. Not a single one. That tells me that God loves diversity! He doesn’t want you to strive to be something or someone other than who He made you to be – shape included! And you know what else? Everything He makes is good. That means you’re good. Not because of how in shape you are, or how well-liked you are, or how successful you are, or how funny you are. You. Are. Made. Just. Right. Your inherent value comes not from what you do or what you can offer or even who you are as a person, but from being made in God’s image. HE determines your worth, and He has determined YOU ARE WORTHY!

Let’s let the truth speak louder in our hearts than the lies that run rampant all around us. Let’s pray and strive for confidence – after all, if we’re children of the King, that makes us royalty! Let’s strive for health and to care for our bodies as we honor God with them. Let’s be intentional in encouraging one another, because let’s face it – whether we show it or not, I’d bet we all struggle with this to some degree. When we see those “before and after” photos and the “before” could’ve been taken in your bathroom this morning, let’s rise above the lies and believe the truth of God’s Word – that He made us just right.

Karah Maschmeier

I have been married to my wonderful husband, Seth, for going on 5 years. We live in Kearney and love it here! I keep myself busy with several things - I work for my dad's law firm as their accountant/office manager, teach private piano lessons, teach Spanish at Faith Christian School, and have an Etsy shop. Seth and I hope very much to be parents soon, and we're excited to see what that will look like for us.