The Thousand-Word Picture

A picture is worth a thousand words, but they aren’t always the words that we need to hear.

(Image © Bigstock)

S Michael

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millennials peer pressure self-image social life

Have you ever heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? We live in a world that surrounds us with images. When you walk into a mall or go to the movies, or when you watch TV or even just open up your Facebook page, you are bombarded by thousands of images.

You see advertisements with beautiful, seemingly happy, tall, slim people showing off the latest fashion. You are constantly slapped in the face with sensual images advertising the next perfume or latest makeup. And while these images are intended to sell you products, there is some serious psychology at work behind them, engineered to transform our thoughts and even our actions.

Did you know it’s proven that your mind associates the smile on a model’s face with a feeling of being happy. So the voice inside your head says “I will be happy if I look like that” and then you contrast the images from that poster with your own body image. You begin to believe that if your body only looked like the model’s, you would suddenly be happier. We begin to feel badly about ourselves when we don’t look like the images.

We look at the world around us and, naturally, we want to fit in. The images tell us that if we can change ourselves, spend tons of money on the latest fashions or technology, we will fit in and feel happier. The images lie to us, deceive us and whisper to us fears and doubts about our own image. They keep us from becoming who we truly are.

We don’t just randomly feel self-conscious. Insecurities and feelings of not being good enough don’t just come out of nowhere. We are regularly affected by societies pressure to be that perfect person. The images that we face every day drill into our heads what is expected of us by the world’s standards. But these are lies and a means to distract us from what is really important. So, if the negative feelings come from the voices in our heads, which are birthed from the fantasy images that surround us, then what are we to do?

Let’s remember the one image that really matters. The Bible says that we are made in God’s image. He made you in his image, beautifully and fearfully made. His voice speaks within you about the image he wants you to be—that voice that has the power to combat all other voices.

The problem is when that godly voice is ignored, the other voices become much louder—the voices of media images, expectations, and social pressures. When we don’t feed our true inner voice—the one God placed inside of our hearts—the noise of the secular world drowns it out. The Bible strengthens that inner voice: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Spending time with God and asking for guidance can help combat the other voices.

King David said, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). That means that before you were born, God knew exactly how you would turn out. He chose the family into which you would be born. He knows your feelings, emotions, and thoughts. God made you the way you are on purpose, and God does not make mistakes. He made you in his own image.

Put a little sticky note on the mirror in your bathroom that says, “I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” to remind you of the divine voice inside of you. When you wake up in the morning to get ready for school or work, read it aloud to yourself to remember in whose image you have been made.


About the Author

S Michael was raised a second generation Messianic Jew and serves within the community both in the United States and Israel.

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millennials peer pressure self-image social life

(Image © Bigstock)

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