Tuesday, June 25 2024 - 1:21 AM
two young women with hats on talking
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I Like My Face

For the past couple of months I’ve been mentoring a teen in my neighborhood. She’s incredibly intelligent, funny, and kind. I absolutely love spending time with her! Our time together consists of baking, going to museums, or talking about new books we’ve read. Of all of those activities, my personal favorite is talking about books. It’s so great to see her eyes light up when she tells me about the plot and characters of whatever book she is reading. In this digital age, it’s so rare to see a teen that’s not obsessed with social media or video games. Books come alive for her and when she describes them, she makes them come alive for me too.

Recently, we’ve discovered a tiny coffee shop in our neighborhood. It must’ve been there for years, but it’s tucked away on one of the side streets so it’s really easy to miss. This makes it the perfect location to go and sit at one of its three tables, read a book, and discuss the book with a friend.  And because the coffee shop is so small, the owners have decorated the place with massive mirrors that take up three of the four walls of the location.

Last Sunday, on a trip to the coffee shop with my mentee, I got up from the table to refill my mug of tea. When I came back, I found my companion ignoring her book and admiring her face in one of the mirrors.

“Why are you staring in the mirror?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” She said, “I just like my face.”

My mind went abuzz. “Why would she say that?” I thought. “Have I been dealing with a narcissist? Should I set her straight? Should I bring her down a peg?”

Thankfully, I said none of those things. I simply replied, “I like your face too.” We both went back to our books and that conversation ended.

The Bible has a lot to say about humility and pride. But I’ve always wondered if we’ve confused humility and low self-esteem. We become scared when young Christians, especially young girls, admire anything about themselves. We’re afraid that they’ll become haughty and prideful. It’s like we’d prefer it if they thought less of themselves. But maybe we’ve got humility all wrong. Is it possible to be humble and have healthy self-esteem? I have a sneaking suspicion that the answer to that question is yes.

For you created my innermost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139: 13-14, NIV).

If you liked this, you might also like Knowing Names | Self-esteem and Teenagers

Jael Amador writes from New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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