Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

smartphone-1445448_1920I know it is only spring, but summer is right around the corner. The Season of the Dreaded Bathing Suit! Let’s face it, even the most self-assured of us feels a little insecure when it comes to beach wear. If you are like me, my body’s resemblance to those Sports Illustrated swim suit models ends below the neck!

But for some, body image is only one item on a list of negative self-statements. Do you suffer from negative self-image? Take this short quiz:

Do you have a distorted view of yourself?

Do you constantly put yourself down?

Are you always thinking of ways to impress others?

Can you accept a compliment?

Are you dissatisfied with your body?

Do you wish you were someone else?

Do you secretly hate yourself?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, pay attention.

In today’s world, we are told over and over to deify, glamorize, beautify and pamper ourselves. What results from all this self-focus is not improved self-image but self-love or narcissism. The body has become an idol.

In truth, our image is not rooted in the self at all. We are beautiful reflections of God, His handiwork and design. The problem is we don’t see ourselves in His light. We often fail to understand who we are in Christ; we evaluate ourselves according to cultural standards, not God’s.

The correction for a negative self-image comes through proper understanding of the basis of esteem. If you try to love yourself without any understanding of who you are in Christ, you will fail. Esteem does not come from inside you, other people, your family or accomplishments. Surprised? You are highly esteemed because God created, chose and loves you.

We reflect Him. This truth may require a change in our thinking. Our accomplishments, appearances or good deeds don’t make us acceptable to God. And God’s kingdom values differ from the external and temporary things of this life.

The Word of God helps us understand:

  • We are created in His image
  • We have Christ in us when we accept Him at salvation, thus we bear His image.
  • We can be free from the bondage of negative self-image because God-esteem is based on His love which we don’t deserve but He freely gives.
  • God looks on the heart not the outward appearance.
  • Because our worth comes from God, it is unshakable and unmerited.
  • His amazing grace covers our flaws. He wants less of us, and more of Him.

Because we are made in God’s image our esteem comes through accepting His unconditional love. As we grow to know Him intimately, we are transformed. Nothing we do or have will make us acceptable to God. Walk in His ways. Imitate Christ. Be esteemed by God and your image problems will fade.

 

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