As women, we tend to look in a mirror ~ bathroom, hallway, or heaven forbid dressing room ~ and see a host of things we wish were different or are working to make different. I could list several of mine without any hesitation. I think my hair is too thin because of what has fallen out recently from my flare, I have stretch marks from babies, parts of me are not where they used to be because of said babies, because of up and down weight and circulation problems I have 42 tiny stab wounds from when I had to have improperly functioning veins removed, and the list could go on.
Now, if you were to ask my husband about those same things, he wouldn't say they are flaws, but rather facts. I had kids. I nursed kids. I have struggled with my weight. None of these make him love me less and he does not see them as making me in any way less, that's all just me. The problem is my perception of those things.
(About to get real here so brace yourself.)
That verse.....we love it. But I think I've been misapplying it and I think maybe you have been, too.
I would venture to say it's more accurate that we read those words but actually believe it says love covers a multitude of flaws.
As a person who still struggles with God's acceptance of her, I can tell you that it took me a long time to believe that God loves me. I always went with the notion that God is love and therefore had to love me because that's just who He is and what He does. However, I still struggle with being worthy of that love and the fact that He doesn't just love me in spite of my flaws. Why does this matter? Because if I say I believe that Jesus blood has made me acceptable in the sight of God, He doesn't see my flaws anymore, He just sees Jesus.
Why is this important? Because if I see myself in any way other than the way God sees me, then:
a. I believe there is something inherently wrong with me and remain on a quest to fix it myself
b. if I believe the blood of Jesus was the perfect sacrifice to make me acceptable to God what does it say about my reception of that gift if my opinion of myself varies significantly to God's knowledge of me
c. I am calling into question God's view of me and believing that mine is more accurate
And here's the thing. Just because we were made acceptable to God through the blood of Christ and are now seen that way in His eyes, that does not mean we are perfect. As flawless, redeemed people, the love of God is now continually moving us towards Christ-likeness, but that's not a process of becoming less flawed, that's a process of becoming holy.
As the year has just begun, let's start it by seeing ourselves as God sees us. Let's stop looking in mirrors and judging our worth based on what we see that we wish was different and pray that God will help us see ourselves the way He sees us. Maybe as He transforms our hearts and minds and gives us the freedom we need to truly love ourselves, we'll be better able to love others and help them see the love of God for themselves.