Absalom comes to mind when I think of self. An illustration from thousands of years ago that resonated recently in a department store dressing room.
A wail from the next dressing room “I just wish I wasn’t me!” caught my attention. Previously, “Does this make me look thinner?” and “I wish I was built like that;” were punctuated with “In your dreams!” and bursts of laughter.
But it’s no laughing matter that children see about 350 advertising messages daily via ads on school walls, television, and public buildings (plus trademarks everywhere). [Fordham University College]. This “Absalom-Syndrome marketing” alarmingly mirrors youths’ reasons for considering suicide: I’m unattractive, I hate myself, classmates ignore me, nobody cares for me.
Rather than your kids focusing on outward changes and trusting marketing’s mirror for fulfillment, they can learn like the way God made them by applying these Biblical principles:
- Choose your focus – Absalom’s selfish and prideful focus on himself and his beautiful hair ended tragically. (II Samuel 18)
How: Focus on others. Genuinely listen. Start a friendship prayer journal to help others change focus. Tell your friends what strengths they have that you appreciate.
- Choose the mirror – discover your INNER self – who you are in Christ (Ephesians 1); and your personality – how God made you.
- Choose Positive Peer Pressure – Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10
How: Keep company with those who build you up. List who you spend time with and how they influence you whether positive or negative. Practice positive peer pressure – encourage and pray for others to like themselves too!
Character builds thoughts. Thoughts become words, words become actions, actions become habits and habits become character. Help your kids choose their life-building image from God’s mirror, not media’s.
http://www.chatwithGod.org – free PDF journal
http://www.classservices.com – personality quiz
www.characterworks.com – developing character qualities