Self - Perception
What are the first words that come to your mind when you think of describing yourself? Do you ever make comments when you look in the mirror? What goes on inside of you when you make a mistake? Our self-perception and how we treat ourselves has a tremendous affect upon our daily lives and those we share life with. It is interesting that when Jesus was asked about what the greatest commandment was He didn’t stop there. “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘ ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:35-40 NKJV).
Jesus said the second commandment holds great importance; in fact He said it was “like” the first one. The Greek definition of the word translated like means one that is similar or the same. We all know we should love God first and most but Jesus knew that if we don’t love ourselves, if we don’t have a healthy self-perception, we won’t have the capacity to love anyone or anything else.
This is one of the greatest challenges of our existence. All of our lives flow out from within us. If our inner life is filled with conflict, judgment, and criticism of ourselves that is what will flow out of us; causing us to view things through a critical perspective. We rarely think that “being hard on ourselves” is that serious. In fact in some sectors of society this is encouraged and celebrated. “You have to watch out for pride you know!” Having a healthy self-perception is not a matter of pride. Pride is having an over exaggerated view of ourselves and believing that all we are is by our own doing. The only way to be Biblically confident is to have the Bible’s view of who we are. (Believe me God’s view of us is much higher than most of our own.)
I am accepted - Ephesians 1:6
I have access to the Father - Ephesians 2:18
I am adequate - 2 Corinthians 3:5
I am anointed - 1 John 2:20
I am the apple of His eye - Zechariah 2:8
I am chosen and appointed by God - John 15:16
I am beautiful - Psalm 149:4
I am becoming a mature person - Ephesians 4:13
I am complete in Christ - Colossians 2:10
I am confident - 1 John 4:17
I am confident He will never leave me - Hebrews 13:5- 6
I am more than a conqueror - Romans 8:37
I am content in every state - Philippians 4:11
I am dead to sin - Romans 6:11
I am a delight to God - Psalm 147:11
I am empowered to obey - Philippians 2:13
I am encouraged - 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am enlightened to know the hope of my calling - Ephesians 1:18
I am enriched in everything - 1 Corinthians 1:5
I am equipped - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I am established - Deuteronomy 28:9
There are many, many, many more great and positive identifications of who we are in Christ in the Scriptures! If we ever want to change what is going on in our world we must begin to take on our true identity! Jesus died to make us like Him! He shed His blood so we could shed our sin nature and carry His glory! He was mutilated so that we could be free from the mutilations of satan’s accusations and condemnation. His head was pressed and pierced by a crown of thorns so our minds could be cleared from the curse that perverts our thinking!
Renewing our mind isn’t a nice Biblical cliché – it is a life-link to the life we were always meant to live. It is a life preserver in this ocean of world views that try to shape us into all sorts of other images and conceptions that are far from the beauty of Christ and His plan for us. “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NLT).
The more we think in line with Scripture and God’s heart for us the more we will walk in God’s perfect will. Jesus purchased the right for you to carry His image! Let’s not settle for anything less! “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory” (Romans 8:29-30).
The world needs to see Jesus through His people. Let’s allow His joy, love, peace, confidence, provision, and power to emanate out of our lives. Begin to think on and say the things that He says about you and watch your self-perception rise and begin to match the Savior’s desire, for which He died, being manifest in your life!
Jesus, thank You! Thank you for dying to save me and give me Your image. Please help me to begin to think in line with who the Bible says I am and be more like You in every way.