Sunday, November 28, 2010
I have to say the one of the things that bother me the most is when I see a girl look in the mirror, (or even when she's not) put herself down. People tell her she's cute, and all she can focus on are her flaws. People tell her she's beautiful, she just shakes it off, and focuses on her flaws. I've known quite a few people do that to themselves, and it's really saddening to me.
Now, it's not to say that I don't understand as to why some of them do that. Believe me, I used to be kind of the same way. In late elementary school, middle school, and a small part of High School, my self esteem about myself was pretty bad. I really didn't think I was pretty, and was worried that no one would think I was beautiful. I had some pretty difficult emotional struggles for more than one reason; and, what I thought about myself was one of those things. I've struggled with my weight for basically my whole life. I've never really been skinny like most of my classmates growing up.
But when I got into high school, things started changing for me. While high school was, for the most part, pretty rough on me, I started gaining some lessons, and a different perspective of myself little by little. I had been studying my bible a lot more, and talking to different people. Finally, my eyes began to open, and I had a new perspective on myself.
Sure, I've had some people in the past make fun of my weight (and some have even called me ugly.). But, you know, I realize that it really doesn't matter what those people said. It sometimes hurts to remember some of that, but, it doesn't plague me like it used to. That's because certain things started coming to my attention.
The first thing to remember is that God made you. He crafted you with His bare hands in your mother's womb. He knew you, and who you would be from that very moment of conception. Psalm 139:13-16 says:
“For You have 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 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 were none of them.” (ESV)
Also, Girls, we're a creation that He's very proud of. In Genesis chapter 2, we read that God had made woman from one of Adam's ribs. He then brought us to the man as a gift! Is that not special or what? We're a gift to humanity! That fact makes us so special in God's eyes. We're a creation that He was proud of. These facts mean that He thinks we're beautiful. We're His creation, after all. To others, we may be just like everyone else, but, to God we're special. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “God must love the common man, He made so many of them.”
We must also realize that who we are is more important than what we look like. 1st Peter 3:3-4 says:
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-rather, let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (NKJV)
Now, this verse isn't saying that it's wrong to look pretty (notice the word “merely”), but the apostle Peter is saying that in the sight of God, beauty on the inside matters more than what we do on the outside. That needs to be our top priorty; working on who we are as a person, rather than our physical appearance.
As young women, we need to go against the ideals of society on what “makes” you “pretty”. For instance, people like Miley Cyrus thinks that it's cool to dance on a pole. Lady GaGa thinks that dressing in crazy and immodest outfits is beautiful. We need to realize that these kinds of things DON'T make us beautiful. As I mentioned in my last article, these things can actually degrade your self esteem. They can make you feel good for a short time, but the truth is that over time, it can make you feel less and less good about yourself.
When you trust God with all your being, and strive to live for Him the best you can, you really do start to see yourself in a different way. You start feeling more confident, and you don't really see yourself as ugly. You see yourself as a creation of God, His beautiful, wonderful princess-and you're proud to be so.
Here are some extra suggestions to help boost your confidence:
-Pray without ceasing!
-Try to find your own style of dressing that is modest. Don't dress in a certain way just because other people are and because you seek to impress others. This will deplete your self-esteem even more.
-Find a way to remind yourself everyday that you're special because you're God's.
-Dress in clothes that fit properly and are flattering.
-Do something fun and spontaneous-Like putting on some fun, upbeat songs in your room, and dancing crazily! (LOL, trust me, it works!)
-Thank God for creating you!
-Accept compliments given to you with a thank you, and a smile.
“There could never be a more beautiful you. Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through. You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do. There could never be a more beautiful you.” -Johnny Diaz, “More Beautiful You”.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Earlier this year, I recall reading an article in PARADE magazine. In it, it had an interview with pop superstar and actress, Miley Cyrus. It definitely interested me, because I'm a big fan Disney, and the people apart of it. It started really good...you know, about her music, and other things. Then she went on to talk about God, and how big He is in her life. Then, I read something that kind of caught me off guard.
She started talking about how people criticize her all the time about her immodest dress. She started saying how dressing modestly is old school, and that it really doesn't matter. She also said that she honestly didn't think God would condemn her to hell simply for wearing short-shorts.
After reading this, my respect for her began to falter. Then, when the song and her music video for “Can't be Tamed” came out, it was completely gone. I had originally thought of her as someone of good morals, and someone who was a good role model. That image was entirely shattered for me.
Since these incidents, it has only gotten worse. If anything, I seriously worry about a lot of the choices she's made...and she's not even 18 yet (not that it matters, really. There are plenty of stars who are better role models than she is at that age, maybe a little younger). It almost seems like she's trying to be like Lady GaGa and Katy Perry-two people are are truly talented, but are wasting their talent away on a trashy images. Which is definitely the way Miley seems to want to be going.
Miley is trying so hard to grow up and be an “adult” star it seems. Nothing wrong with that, in and of its self. But, I feel like there's a better way she could do that. Just look at people like Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato, for instance. These two young women are trying to grow up their image some; but they don't include taking off their clothes, or writing trashy music as the ways they're choosing to do so.
The issue I want to look at is what it truly means to be a woman and growing up.
Many young people today have this mindset that to grow up, they must do grown up things. True, right? For the most part. But some young people have also seemed to gain this mindset that wearing less, and doing sexual things and dressing immodestly gives them a false sense of control...which what some people feel are keys to growing up: control over your own life; doing what you want to do.
First off, let's make one thing very clear: dressing immodestly, and doing sexual things is NOT going to make you seem like a grown up...nor is it going to make others respect you. Respect for yourself and maturity are the keys to growing up. Not flaunting yourself, or giving yourself away.
Proverbs 11:22 says, “Like a gold ring in a pig's snout, is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.”
Basically what this is saying that a woman who flaunts herself is, in God's eyes, has lessened her value. A gold ring in a pig's nose isn't going to be worth much afterward, is it? Who's going to want the ring after it's been in a pig's nose? As far as I know, a pig's nose isn't the most lovely place in the world.
A woman who knows her worth and value isn't going to put herself forward as someone who gets disrespected. She knows that to get respect, she must dress in such a way to get that respect. She's also going to conduct herself in such a way as to get respect from those around her.
If she thinks that the only way to get attention and love is to flaunt herself, I believe she's sadly mistaken. Miley, for whatever reason, has gotten sucked into this notion. She's doing more and more controversial things to get that attention. If she's hooked on it, there's no telling how depraved she'll become, thirsting for more and more until her public loses interest, and there's not much left she can do.
What about a regular girl? Are there situations comparable for them to Miley's? Yes! For instance, a girl is feeling unloved, and the first guy that shows interest in them, they fall head over heels. Then, to keep him interested, they keep doing more and more sexual things to keep him “interested” in her. The thing about sin is that it carries you further than you expected to go (unless you have a reality check that knocks you upside the head.). Then, the guy isn't going to care one bit about the girl, and eventually lose interest, and move on to something else.
The more that girls keep being involved in this vicious cycle, the more heartbreak they'll face. That's exactly what sin does: it tears you apart until there's only a thread left. It beats you down until you don't have a leg to stand on.
One of the biggest reasons I believe God doesn't want us to sin isn't because He want's to control us and keep us from having fun. I believe that the biggest reason is because He loves us, and doesn't want us to get hurt. Every form of sin there is, we could literally sit down and name all the bad things to come from them, and the kinds of pain that result.
Did you know that when a two people participate in sexual activity, a chemical gets released from the brain and creates a bond between the two people? When that is broken somehow, it can result in depression and self -esteem issues. Just think about how many girls have slept with so many guys, and the mental state it can leave them in! It can be devastating! Not to mention, there's the very real possibility of contracting a whole host of sexual diseases. These girls just get so addicted to participating in these activities because it gives them a reason to feel happy...waiting for the next time that they can feel for a short time that they're worth something to someone.
A young Christian woman needs to stay away from things that could deplete her self esteem. Dressing immodestly can do this as well. Some might say it can actually up her self esteem, but I think it's just the opposite. Yes, momentarily it might. But over time, a girl may think that the only way to receive the attention she desires is to dress that way. She begins to lose respect for herself, and can in some cases lead her to do other things that can ruin herself even more.
Also, dressing immodestly causes another problem: A woman dresses as sexy as legally possible, then, when she's trying to get the attention of the guy she wants to lure, a bunch of other guys she has no interest in flock to her like flies to rotten meat. This makes people respect her less, and she can ruin her reputation simply by what she wears. This makes her an easy target for guys. Some guys might have a mindset that because a girl is dressing a certain way, she puts off an image of wanting things she may or may not want. And, while rape is never a woman's fault, and the man has a choice, women can make themselves easier prey for guys like that. Being in places like parties can increase your chances of getting raped, as well. Some guy might slip drugs or alcohol in your drink and take advantage of you.
The things I mentioned above, as we see, can actually inhibit the maturity of someone.
With Miley Cyrus, the problem with her is because she's in such a high position. She has no idea the influence she has on society. So many wide-eyed girls stare in fascination at her and want to be just like her. She has said that she has no problem with little girls watching her latest videos. She might as well say she has no problem with little girls dressing like her. She might as well say she has no problem with young girls dancing on poles.
So many girls are such huge fans of her. If she is going to act this way, she should not be surprised that other girls are going to do the same, therefore setting off a whole host of problems for them.
Girls, we need to realize that little girls look up to us! We need to be examples to them of strong Christian women that respect themselves. When they see us, they need to see a better way of living life, and maybe through our influence, they can see the kind of person they need to be. We do not need to be like some of these celebrities who could seriously care less about the influence they have over young kids...or anyone for that matter. True Christians need to care about how others see them! I cannot say this enough! (Matthew 5:16)
God loves you so very much. He wants so much for you to be beautiful inside as well as out. As I was saying before, growing up doesn't necessarily mean you do “grown up” things. It means respecting yourself, and striving to be a better person. What matters it what God wants for us. He knows more than we do, and we must understand that.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord she shall be praised.”
We should all strive to be young women that God can use and be proud of!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
It is a known fact that women score higher in English and literature than men do. On average, men are usually better with math and computation. God made women to have amazing abilities. One of those abilities is our ability to speak and communicate. So, I ask you…are you using your “gift of gab” for good?
I think a lot of people don’t realize that the bible does actually talk about bad language. People don’t really realize how serious it actually is. A lot of them just think of what they say as “just words” and that it really doesn’t really matter. But as a Christian, it really does matter.
Ephesians 4:29, 31 says: “Let no corrupt communication proceed from your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers….Let al bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”
Colossians 3:8 says: “But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”....
God does not want us to use foul language. Think for a moment: Can you see Jesus saying, “I’m so p***** off!” or, “**** You!”. Be honest with yourself. I don’t think any of us can. We’re supposed to be showing the world to Jesus. He definitely would not talk that way. The language we use is one of the biggest ways we show the world we are different.
Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father in heaven.”
It doesn’t specifically mention our language in that verse…but, you can see that God expects us to be different-and that includes the words we use. Believe or not, people will notice how different you are by how you speak.
I know a girl named “Ellie” who had another girl named “Sharon” mention to her once that she thought she was cool. Why? It was because the girl didn’t use bad language. Ellie had no clue that anyone had noticed. Sharon told her that she was smart and impressed by her for saying how she really felt rather than expressing it through cursing. When Ellie had mentioned this to her father, her father said that it’s possible that other people are noticing too. People WILL notice if you talk differently. When you are truly trying to live for Christ, other people will notice. Why? The bible says it will…as we just read in Matthew 5:14-16
What is gossip?
I think many people don’t have a full understanding of what gossip completely is. Gossip is talking about someone behind their back thoughtlessly, saying things you would never say to their face. It’s not necessarily lying about someone. A lot of girls gossip because they....
a) are angry with someone.
b) are bored.
c) don’t have anything better to do.
d) it’s fun.
The bible talks about gossip, too. In Romans 1:28-32 it says:
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness…deceit, evil mindedness, they are whisperers , backbiters….who, knowing the righteous judgement of God , that those who practice such things are worthy of death not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.”
In the New King James Version, the word “whisperers” means “gossipers”. See what it says in the end of the verse? Those who gossip and approve of it (and other things I chose not to put down) are worthy of death!
We need to remember that words hurt. Unless those words being used could be beneficial to the person (Ephesians 4:29) we should avoid idle talking and thoughtless talking about others. Remember: “Do unto others that you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12). Plus, thoughtless or angry talking isn’t loving. We’re supposed to love others. (1st John 4:7-8) Talking bad about them, or telling their business isn’t loving; no matter what they may have done.
If you’re doing it to get revenge on that person, don’t do it. Romans 12:19 says: “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Vengeance belongs to the Lord, not us.
I don’t need any examples for this one. When you are with your friends, it’s possible that a sex joke will come up. You’ve probably laughed along with them from time to time. Are they really okay or not?....
As Christians, we are supposed to keep our thoughts clean. We aren’t supposed to have sexual thoughts until marriage with our spouse. Sex jokes encourage these thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Plus as Ephesians 4:20 says, our words should be uplifting. Sex jokes are definitely not uplifting in the way God wants us to be uplifted. How are we being uplifting if we are being a stumbling block for others? In other words, causing others to sin. (1st John 2:10).
Dirty jokes cause us to think of sinful things when we’re supposed to be thinking of good things. Phillipians 4:8 says: “Finally bretheren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, nad if there is anything praiseworthy, think on these things.”
Respect for God’s Name
It’s often that I hear the Lord’s name being used in a way it shouldn’t be. Taking the Lord’s name means that you are using God’s name thoughtlessly, and as an exclamation. In the bible, we see that God’s name is treated with respect. Do you ever see anyone in the New or Old testament throwing God’s name around?
God’s name is to be respected. Exclaiming “Oh my God!”, saying “Thank God!” thoughtlessly; saying “Oh Lord!” thoughtlessly; Or more popular, “OMG!” is disrespectful him…because we are saying it thoughtlessly and unreverantly. We're supposed to fear God and respect him. That's not very respectful to God, is it? We should only say it when we are actually talking about him or to him. (Exodus 20:7)
In the end, we need to strive to think before we speak; and ask ourselves what would be the Godly thing to do or say. I like to remember the words from this song:
“May my steps be worship
May my thoughts be praise
May my words bring honor to your name!”
Here’s another thought: As a cute little rabbit once said in Bambi: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Okay, so there's this store at the mall. You all probably know of it, it's called Spencer's. Well, when my friend and I go to the mall, we check out the usual stores first...Hello Cutie, Claires, and Hot Topic. Well, right next door of course is Spencer's. My friend goes in there, and I wait outside in a chair staring into the other stores around. When my friend is finished, she comes out and asks me the usual question:”Chelsea, why won't you go into Spencer's?”
So, I give my reply: “Because I'm trying to be a Christian example, and that's not a store that I can step into and be one.” Then she says: “No one cares if you're in there or not.”
She's right. Nobody will care if they see me in there. They'll walk right on by and not think twice of it because I seem like everyone else, and I'm not supposed to seem like everyone else.
Have you ever noticed that people more often notice the word 'no' than the word 'yes'? When it comes to peer pressure, this is especially true. When you say 'yes' to something whether verbally or non-verbally, no one will think much of it. You become part of the crowd that is condoning whatever it is they're doing. When you say 'no', on the other hand, it seems to have more of an impact because you're rejecting something. Just like me when I say 'no' to stepping foot into Spencer's. People seem to have stronger emotional reactions to 'no' than 'yes'.
If you do something different from the norm, you're bound to stick out. For instance, the average person's hair isn't dyed purple. If you dye it purple, people are bound to notice because you chose to go against the norm. That's how a Christian should be (no, I'm not saying you should dye your hair purple).
Someone who is actively, really trying to live for God is going to be noticed. Christians are not supposed to just “blend in”. We are going against what is usually expected of people. Matthew 5:14 says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Jesus was comparing a true Christian life to a city on a hill. It can't be missed, can it?
People would expect a normal person to go into a store their friend goes into, even if they don't particularly like it; just to be polite. I would do that any time because I love my friend...except when it goes against what God wants me to do. Spencer's, as most of you know, is a gift store. Some of the things in there are innocent such as jewelry and bags; but, it also sells A LOT of things that are very inappropriate, if you get my drift. I can't see Jesus setting foot in there for any reason. If he wouldn't, then I don't see why we should.
God expects us to be different from the world. We should be different in how we dress, where go and what we do for fun, how we talk, what we watch. I know this has been said time and time again, but just because most other people are doing something, doesn't make it right. If a movie comes out and gets rave reviews, and could very well win an Oscar, does that mean we should see it? No. If a new album comes out that a lot of people are buying, should we buy it too? (Philippians 4:8) No. If everyone is saying a certain word or phrase, does that mean we should say it? No.(Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 3:8) If other people are wearing a new style of clothing, does that mean we should wear it too? No. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
Not to say that these things are wrong in and of themselves, but, if there's something about those things that are condemned by God, then we should avoid it like the plague. 1st Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Avoid every appearance of evil.”
Also, being different doesn't mean being in the middle. These people try to keep one foot in the world, and one foot in their Christian life. They rationalize, “Oh I'll just curse a little bit, it's no big deal.” “I'll just watch this trashy movie once.” “Making out with him will be okay...it's not like I'm going all the way with him.” Are people really going to see that you're different if this is your take on living a Christian life? No. This is what the bible calls being “lukewarm”. Revelation 3:15-16 says: “I know your works that you are cold, nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Notice the last words in this verse. God is saying since these people are in the middle, neither hot nor cold, he will vomit them out of His mouth. Pretty frightening image, isn't it?
Two main reasons to try to live a Christian example are:
To help convert others to Christ. When you are different, people will notice. This will give you more opportunities to spread the gospel. When you messing with something the bible says is wrong, even just a little bit, the world isn't going to see that you're against it. They're just going to see you condoning something. They're not going to think twice about you. They'll walk on by, and not even think about what you're doing. We're supposed to be living like 'the city on a hill'; the city that can't be missed.
If you're not living a Christian example the way you should, are you truly being what God wants you to be?
When you are a Christian, everything you do should be based on what will bring honor to God. Being a Christian is supposed to take over your entire life; everything you do will be decided by His word. Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him.”
Being a Christian means that when you've given your life to God, your choices need to reflect what you've chosen to do. I hope you will think on these things I have said. Even the strongest Christians need to review their lives to see how they could be better.
I hope I have helped any of you in one way or another. More blogs will come later, and I hope your mind will be open to the truth in God's word.