Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

Our self-esteem can take a beating from all kinds of sources.  People can say unkind things under the guise of “teasing.”  Advertisements with airbrushed, photo-shopped models can lead us to believe that the world is comprised of perfect people, and the image we see in the mirror just doesn’t compare.  We may work really hard, and nevertheless be passed up for a promotion, and wonder why we didn’t measure up.

The reason that many of us struggle with self-esteem is that we get our feedback from the wrong source – the world.  The feedback we receive from the world is distorted.  What other people say about you typically has more to do with their emotional state than it does with you.  That is why we need to consider ourselves as God does.

God sees you in the way that a loving parent sees their child.  When that parent looks at their child, they don’t focus on the flaws.  The parent only sees incredible potential.  He or she envisions all the amazing things that their child could do.  God views us in the same way.

It is important to remember that God created you intentionally.  He designed every part of your physical being, personality and intellect.  There is no part of you that is a mistake.  That is why it is so important to ignore the “noise” of the world and know that you have been created by God on purpose.

As a reminder of this, I find it useful to do what I call the “I am” exercise.  As an example, let’s say you are worried about your appearance.  In the beginning of the “I am” exercise, you start with “I am created by God.”  Based on that statement, you can say with confidence, “Therefore, I am beautiful.”    Then you can reason out that statement even further: “God gave me curly hair, brown eyes, and big feet.  He put all my features together in a way that is pleasing to Him.  Now it is my job to take care of His creation and enjoy the body that He gave me.”

The “I am” exercise is not just a reminder of how special each of us is, but it is also a reminder of our awesome responsibility.  God gave each of us a body, and we have a responsibility to take care of that body.  We need to eat well, exercise and not abuse our body with drugs, alcohol or overeating.  Similarly, God gave us intellect, and it is our job to use that intellect to help others.  Each of us also has the gift of creativity, and we must use that gift to create beauty in our small part of the world.  God likewise gave us hearts in order to show compassion and love for others.  These are gifts that were not meant to be squandered, but to be used for good.

The “I am” exercise is food for thought.  Ask yourself, “Why did God make me in this way?  How does God want to use my unique qualities to make the world a better place?”  If you were important enough for God to create you, then you must have something very special to offer the world.  That is why when we consider our personal goals, we should look at our individual gifts and talents.  God gave them to us for a reason.  It is our job to figure out how to use those talents to serve the world.

If you think about it, when you criticize yourself, you really are criticizing God’s work.  But when you remember that you are a work of God, it is hard to not like yourself!  So the next time you are feeling unworthy, or are listening to “the world’s” view of you, remind yourself that “I am a special creation of God.”

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