Many of us struggle in different ways with our self image. In fact most people you talk with would admit to having a fairly low self image no matter how successful they appear. Some never seem to overcome their image of themselves and others struggle to achieve to compensate for it. There are people who are fairly confident and sure of themselves, but most struggle. This is often because the most important people in our lives have criticized us or challenged decisions we made or made fun our failures. Or they told us we would never amount to anything. I am sure most of us have heard variants of all of this. And as a result to struggle under that image or we fight to prove those people wrong.
I was one of those people. And I am learning I don’t have to struggle. How am I learning this you ask? Because I came to know how God sees me. Once I learned this I can then place less emphasis on what others think and say. So how does God see you and I?
First God sees us as valuable. The scriptures teach that Jesus gave up all He had in heaven to come to earth, live like you and I, and then to take our punishment upon Himself. Because of the decision Adam made we were all born separated from God. And because of the wrong things we have all done. But God designed each of us for relationship. A relationship with Him first and then with others. Without relationships people wither and die inside. This is because relationships are an integral need for each one of us. The bible’s most famous verse says that Jesus came because God loved us so much and that through Him we could have eternal life. John 3:16. But many people have interpreted eternal life wrong. Eternal life isn’t to live forever. Every life conceived is eternal in nature. Eternal life simply means that we are able to have relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent. John 17:3. God created us for relationship and we broke that relationship and couldn’t ever hope to rebuild it on our own. So Jesus came and died and rose again so that we could again have relationship with us. God sees you and I as extremely valuable. You and I are worth dying for.
Second God sees us as acceptable. We don’t have to struggle and work to achieve the acceptance of God like we do with people. The most hurtful thing we can ever experience in life is rejection. When we are rejected our most basic need is denied and we all struggle with getting past this. And we often struggle to show people how good and ‘perfect’ we are so they will accept us. Unfortunately none of us are perfect nor will we ever be perfect. But that doesn’t stop us from trying. We put on a good face never letting people see what is really going on inside each of us. And we do the same with God. And we don’t have to. God invites each one of us to come to Him simply as we are. Besides He already knows everything about us. We don’t have to hide. We can accept the work of Jesus for us and receive the gift of eternal life, recognizing that there is nothing we can do at all to achieve acceptance from Him, and no way that we can gain anything from Him on our own merit. Nothing we can do can make us any more or less acceptable to God.
Thirdly God sees us as capable. Paul understood this concept very well. He said “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” So what does that mean you ask? It simply means that there is nothing that God will ask me to do that I am unable to do because of the work and life of Jesus in me. And even if I make a mess the bible says God “works everything for good”. So even my messes God turns into great masterpieces. With Jesus I am capable of all things.
Fourthly God sees us as lovable. God loves us completely and totally as we are. In fact God won’t love you any more tomorrow than He does today, and will love you no less. God’s love is always on extravagant. There is no other setting. We are acceptable to Him because of that love, and through the work of Jesus on the cross. God loves each of us totally and completely without reservation, or ration or restraint. God doesn’t love anyone more or less than anyone else, and He doesn’t have bad hair days. His love is complete and total. In fact it could be said that He could live without us so He died for us.
Lastly God sees us as forgivable. Because of Jesus God can forgive our sins. There is nothing we can do that God cannot forgive, and not life is to far gone for Him to rescue. Jesus didn’t come to the world to condemn it. He came to reveal the heart of God towards us and show us that we are accepted, forgivable, lovable,valuable, and capable. There is nothing more important to God than you and I.
Now we can choose to believe this or simply decide that it doesn’t matter. It is really up to us. We can receive the gift of life offered by God or ignore it. But I would welcome you to see yourself as God sees you. It will totally change your life. I know because it totally changed mine.