Who Told You Who You Are?
Bible Reading: Romans 12:1-3
Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Romans 12:3
You get your self-image the same way you got food when you were little: You eat what people put in front of you.
If kind people gave you healthy meals and good sleep, you thrived. If all your body ever inhaled was junk food, sooner or later you’re going to have grief. And if all you ever ate was garbage, your body likely needs some serious repair.
Your self-image also comes from what people dish up for you. As you grew up you listened to what people—parents, teachers, youth leaders, friends—said about you. You saw yourself in light of how they talked, thought, and acted toward you.
Maybe you were fed nutritious, accurate information about yourself. Maybe you lived on junk food—being told you could do no wrong. And maybe you got leftovers or worse. All of these formed your self-image.
So answer this: Do you remember getting fed negative statements like these, even in fun? Check any that sound like something you remember:
_____ “You’ll never amount to anything.”
_____ “You’re so much trouble. I wish you’d never been born.”
_____ “You are so ugly you’ll never have a boyfriend/girlfriend.”
_____ “Why can’t you get A’s and B’s like your sister does?”
_____ “What are you growing on that face of yours, a zit farm?”
What happens when you hear statements like that about yourself? A subtle chain reaction takes place inside you.
First, you hear it: “You’re stupid.”
Next, you think about it: Is he right? Am I really stupid?
Then an experience reinforces it. You make a big mistake and someone laughs at you and says, “That was a stupid thing to do.”
Then you begin to feel it: That was so dumb. I really feel stupid.
Finally, you believe it: I am told that I’m stupid, I act stupid, and I feel stupid. It must be true. I am stupid.
See why it’s so important to know what God says about you? As you read the Bible, you find out how God values you. The more you see yourself as God sees you, the more you get a true view of you.
REFLECT: How have other people shaped how you see yourself?
PRAY: Ask God today to let his Word fill you with his view of you. Welcome that view as the truth—that’s exactly what it is.
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