There is a secret battle that wages in every human heart.
Secret because we don’t want to talk about it. And secret because the silence makes us feel so alone in the fight. But we are not alone! The war for a healthy self-image may hit us socially, emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually, (you name it), but it here is going to be some area of our lives that each of us will feel that we are not enough–or that we are too much. Our confidence will be attacked in one way or another. Like arrows shot from an enemy, the attack may come as harsh words from a close friend, or a rude stranger at the register. It could be a simple failure and our own self-talk that knocks our confidence to the pit.
Self-talk is the key to winning the battle
Many Christians make it a habit to “pray-on the full armor of God” in order to prepare for such battles. As we get dressed, we ask God to give us the “breastplate of Righteousness” knowing that our King’s emblem is our true identity and that His goodness covers our failures and protects all our heart. We imagine securing the “belt of Truth,” as we trust that His promises are real, and He is greater than our fear. As we put on our shoes, we ask to be equipped to run, walk, stand, whatever His will, and that He will lead us with His peace. Before we start our day, we take up the “shield of faith,” knowing that fiery darts will come, but God is still who He says He is and He equips us to be more than conquerors. But victory doesn’t just come to those who believe, we must fight for what we believe. We must take the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” and use it. (Ephesians 6)
Becoming warrior women who are confident (and beautiful!) is an adventure.
We all want to be victorious over the battle for our self-confidence. So why aren’t we? (And I do mean we.) I spend nearly three weeks last month in a slump of depression. The battle I was facing had me wounded and worn. I especially struggled with getting a blog out because I felt I had nothing to offer in the area of confidence or beauty. But I learned something very valuable from my fight. I learned about the “helmet of Salvation” and it has changed my morning makeover tremendously.
It takes confidence to wear a hat
Most of us women hesitate to wear hats, even if we love them. Perhaps that’s because we don’t want to mess up our hair, but I think there is more to it than that. Hats are humbling. I love hats, but if I ever wear them it is not for long. I feel like they draw too much attention and because I’m not used to them, when I wear a hat I am constantly aware of it, making me uncomfortable.
And who likes helmets anyway? Of course they are wise, but when you hop on your bike do you really want to wear one? No matter how smart they are, they make us feel childish.
I think the reason for most of my emotional battles is that I have treated the helmet of Salvation the same way I do a hat: I seldom choose to wear it, and when I do, I don’t keep it on.
Our minds need to be protected even more than our bodies because just as the brain governs all our other organs our thoughts govern our confidence in every area. Even though most of us know we shouldn’t receive a harsh word as truth nor dwell on the negative opinion of others, we still do. We aren’t self-confident; we are self-condemning.
If we truly want a healthy self-image, we need to protect our minds at all times by making a choice to think according to what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. I don’t know about you, but when I am depressed, I am giving way more energy to things that aren’t even true or real than I am things that are honorable and lovely. And admirable, doesn’t that require appreciation? It’s hard to see the light when in the dark, but if anything flips the switch, it is gratitude.
If you find yourself battling with depression or self-esteem issues, I encourage you to pick up the “sword of the Spirt” which is full of wisdom for becoming victorious.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 6-9