Image Is Everything
Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26-28
Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves.” Genesis 1:26
Image is supposedly everything. So what’s a self-image?
Your self-image is the mental picture you have of yourself. It started being formed the moment you were born, and by the time you were five or six the person you think you are was so locked into your brain that you madly resist efforts to change it. That doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Lots of people have moved from a negative to a positive self-image—or from a positive to a negative self-image. The point is this: Once you get a fix on who you think you are, you don’t change easily. And since your self-image impacts every responsibility and relationship you have, it’s crucial to acquire a healthy self-image now.
If you have a negative self-image, you don’t think highly of yourself. You’re often pessimistic, lacking in confidence, extremely sensitive to the opinions of others, self-conscious about how you look or perform, constantly wondering what people think of you, clingy in relationships, unsure of how to receive another’s love, looking for possessions to make you happy, and speaking negatively about yourself or others. That’s not a happy way to be.
If you have a positive self-image, you think highly of yourself. You might think you’re the greatest because of the way you look or how smart you are or some other outstanding ability. That’s not a good way to be, either. A quick car accident could change all three of those in a flash.
A healthy self-image is seeing yourself as God sees you—no more, no less. If you have a healthy self-image, you do think highly of yourself—but that’s because God thinks highly of you. You accept the reality that God created you in his own image as someone with infinite value and worth.
When you see who you are in Jesus Christ, nothing can ever change that. You gain a positive and a healthy view of yourself. And you can get ready for God to do things through you. Why? Research shows that people act in ways that fit the mental picture they have of themselves. If you see yourself as a failure, you will act like a failure. You’ll also find it hard to believe God wants the best for you.
A healthy self-image bulks you up with the strength to meet not only your own needs but also others’ needs. It empowers you to be the kind of friend and Christian God calls you to be.
REFLECT: How do you see yourself today? Do you have a healthy self-image or are you disappointed in how you look and who you are?
PRAY: Spend some time today asking God to give you a healthy self-image by helping you see yourself as he sees you.