Courtesy of matt hutchinson/Creative Commons Licenses Even though I mostly use Facebook for networking with peers in youth ministry, there are those...
Series: Sticks and Stones Week 2 (MIrror, Mirror on the Wall…) 10.16.05
Have you ever been in one of those fun houses where you see the mirrors and they make you look fat, tall, skinny or even like an hour glass? Those places can be fun because it distorts the way we see ourselves. At home we look in mirrors to put on make up, brush our teeth, fix our clothes, basically to improve our image; however, you have to ask yourself, “Is what I see in this mirror the real me or is my view distorted?”
Yesterday we continued our series Sticks and Stones (Pain and Suffering) where we tackled the theme self-image. In our second week entitled Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… we talked about issues such as depression, eating disorders, suicide and prayer. I shared with the students my own struggles with depression as well as a testimony written by my sister who has fought depression, and bulimia. Below is a short poem as well as some of the points I made in last night’s message.
We are all beautiful because we are created in God’s image.
Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
-Sometimes we feel pressured by advertising and the media to look a certain way. We often feel inclined to ask ourselves if we are really happy with the way we look. Am I too short, too fat, is my hair the right color, do I have an attractive body? These are all questions we ask ourselves because we feel as if we need to be beautiful. But is how we look on the outside really what makes us beautiful? We often forget the God created us in his image with his love. How can God ever create anything bad? Everything God created was good. (See Genesis 1:31) So how do we make ourselves beautiful? We need to do God’s work and spread God’s love because when we do we let his image shine through us. And, by living in his image we become beautiful.
We are never alone because God will never abandon us.
Numbers 11:17 – “I will come down and speak with you there. I will also take some of the spirit that is on you and will bestow it on them, that they may share the burden of the people with you. You will then not have to bear it by yourself.”
-When you are depressed or even suicidal it feels as if the whole world is against you. It feels as if no one understands or wants to help with your problems. This causes us to hide our feelings and prevent others from seeing what’s really going on. When it is hard for others to see our pain we can always count on God knowing what we are really going through. We might try to handle things on our own, even tell people that we are fine, but deep inside we know that we struggle. God does not abandon us, we might be able to hide how we feel from others but God will always know how we feel. God will make sure we never have to carry a burden on our own.
We are responsible to help others keep the faith.
Matthew 9:20-22 – “A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.’ Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, ‘Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.’ And from that hour the woman was cured.”
-Faith is what saved the hemorrhaging woman and faith is what will save all those that suffer. By having faith in God we never have to worry about carrying our own burdens. By having faith in God we can learn how to help others. We can help others keep the faith by keeping them in our prayers. Prayer is powerful especially when we have a suffering friend or family member who refuses our help. With prayer you can ask God to guide, carry and support your friend. With prayer you can ask God to take some of the comfort from your own life and transfer it into those who are suffering. Prayer allows us to help others keep the faith even when they hide their pain. When you take the responsibility of helping others keep the faith you are not only helping someone in need but you are showing the beauty that God gave you.
A poem written by my sister about her eating disorder when she was 16:
The mirror judges,
As it magnifies my bulges,
Splotches and imperfections
My sunken eyes detest the blob staring
Back at me,
Fathoming the day
That I will disappear
I press my eyelids shut,
Hold my breath tight,
Clench my fist,
And cringe as I wish myself away.
Hot tears flood my eyes
As I let out a gasp of deperation,
My scrutiny twists me
Into a knot
That is perpetually tied
Like a grenade
I am waiting to explode.