SELF IMAGE – – Part 3

2 Corinthians 10:12, 17-18 – “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding…

17 But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.”  NASB

What is God’s basic purpose for creating us?  I believe it is two-fold: That we could have fellowship with Him through His Son Jesus; That we could experience the full potential of Christ working in us.  If you expand those you discover some powerful and liberating truths that will produce a healthy and godly self-image.

John 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” 

John 10:10 – “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” 

Philippians 3:8 – “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” 

I believe that success in life is not measured by what we have or what we have done, but what we are and have done compared to what we could have done and could have been.  

The devil is aware of the potential that God has placed in each of us and desires to destroy that image in our minds or reduce the potential and realization.  I love what Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:20-22 – “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”    Digest that and you will come away with a powerfully improved self-image and a healthy understanding of what God desires and has done.

The initial method of attack by the devil is to induce us into believe that God has somehow short-changed us.  That’s what he did with Adam & Eve in the Garden and continues to do today.  (Genesis 3:4-5).  The apostle Paul had some powerful counsel in Colossians 2:8-10 – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” 

Before we were born, God prescribed our unchangeable features in harmony with His plan for our lives.  Job opened our understanding in Job 10:8-9 – “Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity; Yet You would destroy me. 9 Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay. And will You turn me into dust again?”  Then in Psalms 139:14-16 provides incredible insight and comfort, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book, they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

Isaiah warns us of the danger of wrongly viewing ourselves in Isaiah 45:9 telling us that it is insulting to God for the created to question God’s work.  We need to remember that God has not finished making us into what He desires us to be.  Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that we are (present continuous action) His workmanship and in Psalm 138:8 we are reminded that God will perfect or complete what He has desired and designed in us.

Can I insert that there is no universal ideal for outward appearance, but there is a universal ideal for inward character.  That is to become a reproduction of Jesus through God’s Grace and Spirit.  Happiness is dependent on outward stimuli, but Joy is not dependent on the external it is an inside job. 

If we learn to seek first (Matthew 6:33) God and His kingdom we will find that all things are added to us.  Then the comforting and challenging words of Psalms 117:15 are important, “As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake, with your likeness.”

God has a plan for each of us and only as we allow Him to help us develop a right image of ourselves can we produce to the fullest God’s plan in and for our lives.  Only then can our relationship and attitude toward God and others be complete and healthy. I pray for God to help each of us reject the lies of the devil and embrace our uniqueness in how God has made us and become who He says we are.

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Jesus!

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