Have you looked in the mirror lately and said, “Who are you?” Or perhaps you’ve been like I was; you don’t want to look because you don’t like what you see. Either way, I find it amazing how we view ourselves affects what we do or will not do.
It affects the standards set, raised, or lowered in our life choices. As young girls it decides the kind of boy we will date or not date as a teenager. It influences our decisions and hopes for career and marriage as young women.
It shapes what we turn away or just plain put up with in our lives in general. The view of ones’ self is one of the most effective influencers in anyone’s life but especially the woman’s life. That mental picture and eventually the picture we have imprinted on our heart will propel us to the heights of success or lower us into the depths of failure time and time again.
On more than several occasions, I have been questioned about the worthiness of such a subject as self-image or self-worth. One person cited, “Too much focus on self is not healthy.” Another said, “Just be more confident in yourself and get on with life.”
REMEMBER WHAT GOD SAID
I agreed with both but when I examined what the Word of God has said about our image it changes everything including the worthiness of the subject. I believe as we discover or remember what God has said about us (his creation) and agree with him our lives will be changed, steadied or even set on a new course.
In her book, How to Succeed at Being Yourself Joyce Meyers instructs us with, “Our self-image is the inner picture we carry of ourselves.”1 If it’s a distorted image, God wants to change it. How do you see yourself? What does the inner picture look like that you carry of yourself.
Again, our self-image is how we view ourselves. We must include balance in our thinking. Because of this I’m not afraid of the word self-image that is a healthy balanced self-image. I’ve learned we can’t always feel good about ourselves but we can feel right about ourselves.
COMMIT TO CHANGE
Remember, in the first chapter I mentioned we have to commit to change. We are working with God toward renewal in attitude or spirit. Our commitment is to do what it takes to renew the spirit of our mind through the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Years ago, I distinctly remember knowing that I was free, though not completely free from my past. I knew I was delivered though not completely delivered. I knew inside there was still an important step to go and I had no idea how to take it.
This is exactly where God wanted me and wants you-totally depending on him. I wanted to figure out why I felt so unworthy. I am so prone to do it myself or try to figure it out and then bring it to God. I suspect I am not alone in this.
I tried many self-confidence classes and self-help books and courses. I left some of them feeling better about myself but not right about myself. My heavenly Father showed me I could not fix the problem I had in this manner. You may remember from the preface, me describing myself inside. I could do so because my heavenly Father showed me. He showed me myself (my spirit man) I was humped over with my arms hanging to the floor like a monkey.
I was delivered from all abusive situations. My physical wounds were healed and not noticeable. Still, I was struggling inside. I felt so unworthy and incapable of change. I feared I would die before my change would come.
THE POWER OF SELF IMAGE
But, my Lord has since broken the chains on my life! He has caused me to walk upright again and restored my name. Remembering that he did that for me, I know our God will meet you wherever you are. Whether you need an overhaul like I did or you need a small adjustment in your thinking. He is faithful to make us like new.
Here’s a story that shows the power of self-image. In Numbers 13 as God commanded, Moses sent out twelve spies to the Promised Land (Canaan). They came back after forty days with this report, “There we saw the Nephilim (or giants), the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
As the story goes the entire nation of Israel was on the brink of entering the promised land to receive their inheritance from God. Instead on the forty-first day a crisis in their self-image caused all but two to lose their inheritance.2
When you look into your heart, do you see yourself cowering before your troubles as the Israelites saw themselves or facing each challenge with the power of God?
The fear of the giants and doubt of God’s care caused thousands to sink into mediocrity and eventually stopped them from entering their Promised Land. Charles Stanley describes mediocrity as a heart that fails to trust God’s plans for his life.
According to that description, all of that Israelite generation except two yielded to the crisis and settled into a mediocre existence in the desert. Joshua and Caleb were the only ones that saw themselves as victors in God. They had a correct self-image. The other Israelites were held back because they did not agree with whom God said they were. 2
BREAKING THE CYCLE
Many times we see ourselves through our own critical eye. Other people and wrong choices may have distorted our self-image. The thief Satan works to get us to be anyone other than who God destined us to be. Through this distortion we become deceived in our own mind and imagination.
From this distortion negative thinking begins to flow, then negative talking and eventually negative believing. Unless this cycle is broken a person can become crippled for life never rising above a distorted self-image.
What Promised Land (victory) is God holding out to you? What giants (challenges) will you have to face to enter? Have you realized your entry may depend on viewing yourself as who God says you are?
Decide to agree with God. Father God says you are Beloved and accepted. Say with me, “I am the Beloved and He has accepted me.” He says you are victorious, even more than a conqueror. Say with me again, “I am victorious and more than a conqueror in God.”