Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? That girl with her eyes and hair, those cheeks and ears—how do you feel about her? What thoughts zip through your mind when soaking in her reflection? Are they kind or critical, praiseworthy or full of condemnation?
If asked these questions 10 years ago, I would have danced around the answers. After all, who likes to admit they don’t like themselves and bash their reflection far too often? But the truth was I didn’t like the woman in the mirror. I rejected her, finding much wrong and little right. My focus was centered on me versus God.
Other women donned the endless, thin legs I coveted. (Yes, I said coveted.) The long, flowing hair of my dreams sat on their head, not mine. Other women exhibited the creativity and gumption I simply dreamed of. I felt certain I’d never be able to accomplish what they did. After all, I wasn’t good enough. And although I seldom offered the thoughts out loud and felt certain they remained benign, spiritual danger raced among the silence.
The thoughts, however, weren’t benign. They were a cancer of the spiritual kind. But God’s Truth brought healing.
We aren’t relegated to a check-off list concerning thighs, eyes, abilities and more. No, we are the magnificent work of God’s hand. King David, in Psalm 139, champions well the creation of God. We’re wise to follow in his footsteps and use this verse as spiritual ammunition.
“I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well.”
PS 139:14 WEB
Several beautiful implications spring to life when we believe the truth of Psalm 139:14. Let’s soak in 10 of them today and walk away bolder, shall we?
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1. We Stand in Awe
When she was a young three years of age, a portion of my daughter’s thumb was accidentally amputated in a van door. (Yes, I cringed then and still do.) If given the opportunity to push the redo button, I would. But one takeaway remains a keeper: Even tiny, three-year-old thumbs indicate and proclaim the glory of God.
Consider our Creator who threads together a multitude of veins, vessels, and arteries, pumping life into something as simple as a thumb. Many of my daughter’s blood-carrying pathways proved invisible to the naked eye. They remained unseen through the surgeon’s microscope, too. They were that tiny. But the Great Physician saw them. He knits us together in marvelous, awe-inspiring ways. Blood bears proof, thumbs too.
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2. Love Becomes Possible
Take a peek at the portion of the Bible in which Jesus discusses the greatest commandments. It sits in Mark.
"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the primary commandment.The second is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 WEB.
When we gather and hold close the truth of being fearfully and wonderfully made, self-love sprouts. But it’s not a self-centered or arrogant love. It’s a deep appreciation for the handiwork of God. Consider it a love for our Father’s work. And when we love God’s work—us—we gather ability to truly love our neighbor. Call it a beautiful implication.
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3. Worship Sits on Our Lips
What sits outside your window? Soak in the scene for a minute. My view includes grass, a red hibiscus bloom sure to fade by tomorrow, a rolling pasture crowded with overgrown grass and weeds, and Oklahoma’s wide expanse of blue, cloudless sky. Scenes like this leave me in awe of the One who created them.
Our reflection flashes a bit of creation just as beautiful and awe-inspiring as a hibiscus in bloom or a blue sky. Just like the posy and wild blue yonder, we are God’s handiwork. And when we have “fearfully and wonderfully made” embedded in our heart, it proves easy to look in the mirror and worship the Creator for His marvelous work.
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!” Revelation 4:11 WEB.
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4. Significance Takes Center Stage
Am I significant? It often sits as an underlying question amid self-condemnation. We put ourselves down because we don’t feel good enough or significant.
When we sit surrounded by the truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made however, significance shifts to God Almighty. We rest assured in the merit of his truth. We beg for nothing more because we sit well satisfied and fully filled, trusting our Lord.
5. Peace from People-Pleasing Infiltrates
Resting in truth ushers peace into our lives. When we find contentment with God’s creation of our bodies, qualities, and God-given talents, people pleasing tends to cease. We aim to honor God, not the shifting views and preferences of people. And we find rest in that place.
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6. We Squash Pride
We often consider pride as an outward, bold arrogance. But sometimes pride quietly hides inside. A beautiful implication of believing the truth in Psalm 139:14 is squashing pride, whether the bold or quiet kind.
Pride lures us to center our thoughts on “self” and our ability versus our Father’s. Some resemble boasts while others masquerade as put-downs. Resting in the truth of being fearfully and wonderfully made is a transfer of focus from self to God Almighty. Praise, not pride, lifts high.
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7. We Avoid the Comparison Trap
Consider the mind-blowing combinations of eyes and hair, heights and shapes, talents, and gifts covering the globe. What variety of appearances, abilities, and talents. When we stand solid with Psalm 139:14, we no longer need to compare our ability or disability to those of others. Contentment rises. We see the work as God’s, not ours. We avoid the comparison trap, focusing on the uniqueness and marvelous work of our Creator in our own lives. We garner strength and confidence for the day’s journey.
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8. We Boldly Battle Darkness
With wisdom from the Holy Spirit, I grew aware of the battle in the mirror. Now, when a condemning thought surfaces or sits on my lips, I grab the sword of God’s Word. He’s given it to us as an offensive and defensive weapon. Truth cuts through lies. It cuts through the lie that we’re not enough, because it’s not about “us;” it’s about God.
I look in the mirror and roll right into Psalm 139:14, repeating, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, God. That, my soul knows full well.” It quiets the chatter every time. It turns the focus away from me, setting it on God Almighty. Don’t be fooled; the condemning thoughts are a battle. We’re wise to fight with the tools and truth God has given us.
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9. We Grab Grace, Not Perfection
Do you ever wonder why there’s such striving for perfection? We want everything to be “just right” and perfect. But life seldom rolls that way. Our striving for perfection often stands as a tool of works and man, not God. It encourages us to lean on our ability. But what if we leaned on the grace of Jesus? Then offered grace to ourselves and others?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9 WEB.
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10. Thankfulness Rises
“I will give thanks…” Those are the first four words of the verse. David gives an offering of thanks straight to God. This thankfulness seems to center on and swirl around the man named David. Ultimately however, it’s centered on the Creator and his magnificent work.
Call it sitting with contentedness and reverential fear, owning that we’re fearfully and wonderfully made by the Master’s very own hand. What power we wield when armed with thanksgiving.
Truly, thanksgiving and the other nine implications listed above are beautiful. If you find yourself struggling with the reflection in the mirror, consider offering this prayer:
Thank you for making me. Thank you for the works of your hand, the ones made in awe and with wonder. I want to love all of your creation, even myself. I desire to give you praise. Show me how, Lord. Show me my heart. Please show me how to love the women I see in the mirror. Unearth the lie rooting deceit. Uproot it with your truth. Fill me with your righteous truth. I give you praise for your magnificent work, all things fearfully and wonderfully made—including me. I love you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Kristi Woods, writer and speaker, is passionate about women walking deeper with God. She writes regularly and offers faith-building tools at www.KristiWoods.net. She contributes monthly at iBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com and is published in three Chicken Soup for the Soul publications. Kristi, her husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle, and have set roots in Oklahoma. Connect with Kristi here: Facebook and Pinterest.
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Originally published Tuesday, 19 June 2018.