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In the mirror

Helping you see what God sees


The only opinion we should base our self image upon is God’s.



Self Image and Public Image

Self image and public image are very much tangled up in each other. What we think of ourselves will very much depend on what we think others think of us. Actually this is very strange. It is not what people actually think of us that affects us because for the most part we will never know what most people think of us. It is what we believe they think that we often use to judge ourselves by. I will say this again, it is very strange. Yet we live in a very image conscious society where image and brand are given a high level of importance and this rubs off on us, hence my opening sentence.

We have been fed the lie by society that we need to worry about what others think of us as if it is very important. Although the modern media have increased the pressure of this, it is not a new phenomenon. There has always been the “in crowd”, those with status and social importance whom others have wanted to emulate and by whom we judge ourselves. But this begs the question, what is it that makes one person more admirable than another? Let’s line all this up with the Bible before we pour forth an answer.

Two verses come to mind. The first is that it is for God to judge us (John 8 v50). What does this mean? It means that the only opinion we should base our self image upon is God’s. It really doesn’t matter what the person next door thinks of you. It really doesn’t matter what the shop assistant thinks of you. It really doesn’t matter what the church leaders think of you. What matters is what God thinks of you. The neighbour, shop assistant and church leaders will pass away one day but God will not.

“But God thinks I’m terrible,” I hear some of you say. “I’m such a mess,” “This is out of control, that is out of control, the other is not even given a thought and I know God wants me to do better at the other.”

Let’s line all this up with the Bible, I said. God does not think you are terrible, nor does he think any of the other negative things that may be going through your head right now. These thoughts do not come from God—neither do they originate from you, they are thoughts which are outside of the kingdom of God and they have been planted there in your mind. Reject them, refuse to entertain them.

Before I go onto the next verse we will look at I want you to stop and jot down a few things.

Get a piece of paper and write at the top “God thinks Jesus is…”

Then write down as many things about Jesus that you can think of. For example: God thinks Jesus is wonderful, beautiful, lovable, useful in His kingdom… keep going for as long as you can. Can you write 20? Or more?

I am going to personalise the second Bible verse that I want to look at to be only about you. The verse is really about everyone in the world which includes you, so as long as we keep the whole thing in mind it is ok to personalise it. It is from John 3 v16 God so loves you that He gave His one and only son for you. Do you understand what that means? God places so much value and importance on you that He was willing to give up His beloved son so that He would not lose you. All those things you wrote down about Jesus—God sees those things in you and thinks highly enough about you that He was prepared to send Jesus away so that He could have you.

Go back to your list of things that God thinks about Jesus. Cross out “Jesus is” and write “I am.” So above that same list it reads “God thinks I am…” (It is possible that you may have put down one or two things which are exclusive to Jesus but I shouldn’t think you have more than that.) Some of you are tempted to want to cross out many of the things on the list because you find them hard to believe but God does think that you are wonderful, lovable, useful in his kingdom etc. So don't cross it out, believe it!

You may have suffered for years with people putting you down and telling you you are worthless and will amount to nothing. These are lies. Jesus is the Truth and he demonstrated that you are valuable enough to die for.

This should be the starting point for building your self esteem. I know it is hard for some of you. You may have suffered for years with people putting you down and telling you you are worthless and will amount to nothing. These are lies. Jesus is the Truth and he demonstrated that you are valuable enough to die for.

I go back to my question in the second paragraph, what is it that makes one person more admirable than another? In the light of what we have been looking at in the Bible the answer is nothing! There is nothing that can make anyone else more valuable or important than you when we look at the subject from God’s point of view. Sure there may be a few things that you would like to work on—I am sure there are some things that God wants us to work on as none of us is perfect yet—but those things will only make us cleaner and more shiny they will not add to our value or importance.

Things to do

Keep telling yourself over and over that “I am valuable and worthy of God’s love” or “God has shown that I am lovable no matter what anyone says” or “God, the creator of the whole world, has chosen me”. Keep saying these Bible truths until they sink into your subconscious. That means saying them to yourself many more times than all the negative things you get told. Say them to yourself last thing before you go to sleep. Psalm 16 v7 says, “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” God will teach you these things while you are asleep so that your conscious mind cannot fight them. Ask Him.

Let’s pray together

Many times people have said things to me which I have taken to heart and believed even though they are hurtful and do not measure up to your truth. I am sorry. Help me to replace belief in them with belief in your Truth. Your Word says that I am loved (Jeremiah 31 v3). Your Word says that I am valuable—that Jesus gave himself for me (Galatians 2 v20). Your Word says that I can do things with God on my side (Philippians 4 v13). Your Word says that you had a good plan for me before I was even born (Mark 10 v18, Psalm 139 v 16).

Help me to believe your Words not the hurtful words of others. Help me to see myself as you see me—one who is dearly loved and valuable. Amen

Jeremiah 31 v3 I have loved you with an everlasting love

Philippians 4 v 13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength 

(This doesn’t mean that we can supernaturally do things instantly without and effort from us. It is part of God’s created order that for the most part we have to learn and work at things but He gives us the strength to be able to do that.)

Mark 10 v18 No-one is good except God alone

(Some people believe that because their life has been bad that God must be some awful God who has planned bad things for them. This cannot be true as God is only good therefore everything in his plan for you will bring ultimate good - there may be some hard lessons and some consequences of sin to live with but we are always safe in God's love.)

All the Bible verses are from the NIV translation.

Galatians 2 v20 ...the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me

Psalm 139 v16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.