Sometimes I'll be out in public and see someone and immediately try to figure out if I am bigger or smaller than her. I’m sure that’s not healthy…comparing myself to other people - but I’m also pretty sure it’s normal. Usually I just wonder in my own head, but the few times that I have been bold enough to ask someone (usually one of my sisters or my husband) how I “stack up” next to the person in question, I typically find that the person who I think I am pretty comparable to is actually significantly larger than I am. Self perception is usually pretty inaccurate.
What do you think people see when they look at you? Is it your out-of-date clothes? Is it that they see a fat person? Do they see someone with really bad skin? Dark eye circles? Bad teeth? Too tall? Too short? Too skinny? Do they see a balding guy? Or maybe a girl with really bad hair?
For me it's my weight and my teeth. ( I am missing a tooth and in order to get a replacement, I would need to wear braces for over a year and I am just not willing to go through all of that). But forever, when I met someone new, I just knew that they were thinking about my size or they thought I was a toothless hillbilly (no offense to hillbillies - I do come from a long and distinguished line of them). I actually didn't look forward to meeting new people because I thought that these issues were so embarrassing.
As I've gotten older and hopefully somewhat wiser though, I have begun to realize that most of my flaws are exaggerated in my own head. Most people don't even notice the physical things about me that I tend to obsess over, and if they do notice, they usually don't care one way or another. Most people are more concerned with your personality than your appearance.
You know what I HAVE been told people noticed about me? I have been told that I give good hugs. I've been told that I laugh like Betty Rubble. I've been told that I am a good teacher. I've been told that I have a good sense of humor. And I've been told that I am a good listener. And all of these are things that I would have never used to define me or my personality.
I say all of this just to give you a little encouragement today. You probably aren't as different as you think you are. You probably aren't as unattractive as you think you are. You probably aren't as invaluable as you think you are. Just because YOU can't see your positive characteristics, doesn't mean they aren't there.
You were created with God given talents and abilities. Use those as boldly and as often as you can and THAT is what people will notice about you.
"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." 1 Peter 3:3-4