Let’s talk about you today. Let’s talk about how you see yourself. Maybe you have experienced a season when you have had difficulty seeing yourself as God sees you. Perhaps you find yourself in that season right now.
My gut tells me that we all have seasons where it’s difficult to believe this. The Bible tells us we are wonderfully made, but we look in the mirror and just don’t feel like that’s true. God tells us that we are overcomers, but our lives are filled with challenges, and we have a hard time seeing ourselves overcoming them. The list could go on and on.
So can we talk about the gap between how God sees us and how we see ourselves? Here are two things I want to remind you of today.
You are loved and approved.
When you see yourself as God sees you, the opinions of others carry less weight. This is the center of true freedom. Living life from a place of knowing you are loved and approved is the beginning of healing from much of your depression and anxiety. Remember, freedom is not the absence of those issues, but the peace and power of God in the middle of them. Freedom isn’t a “one and done” experience. It’s a journey.
You are not your past.
Yes-your history is part of your story. But your mistakes, sin, and heartbreaks are not who you are. God sees your past and loves you anyway. He even knows the mistakes you will make in the future, and yes-He sees it all, and He loves you no matter what. Let Him help you deal with your past. Ask Him to send people your way to help you work through it. Pray that you can find a community of people to help remind you of how He sees you. You are not your past. You are His.
Here are three things you can do regularly to keep these two truths in the forefront of your mind.
- Fill your mind with God’s truth.
You’re going to hear lots of things that aren’t true today. Social media ads will tell you that you are what you eat or weigh, that your beauty is found in the smoothness of your skin or the whiteness of your teeth. The models will be airbrushed and the words will be clever. We need to fill our minds with the truth of God’s word. When we read the Bible, we are reminded of who God is and how He sees us. We are also given guidance on the best ways to live our lives. If we want to know what God says about us, we need to read the words He says about us.
2. Talk to the One who created you.
Ask Him to show you how He sees you so that you can be reminded of how to see yourself. Thank Him for being at work in your life, shaping you into His image. Ask Him to remind you throughout your day of how He sees you.
3. Don’t Swim Alone
You know, there is a reason that gobies swim in schools. Why? Because we were created for connection to others. And when the Jesus in you speaks truth to me, it awakens my awareness of the Jesus in me. I have hundreds of stories of times that I have been struggling and that someone has spoken something to me that I haven’t been feeling to be true. The truth about who God says I am is like watering a flower in my heart, and it begins to grow.
We often put God in a box, and we try to make God into our image. But the fact of the matter is, is that God is not our image. We are His image-bearers. We confuse the two, and we think that if I can make everybody happy or if I can have this perfect life with my perfect family and my perfect job and my perfect whatever, that somehow or another God will be pleased with me. When we try to make our lives into this picture-perfect image, it’s actually a hindrance to our relationship with God.
The challenge that we have in today’s world is that we’re so fixated on perfectionism, whether it be physical perfection or material perfection, or just this idea that everything has to be just right in our lives. If we are not careful, we begin to live for the approval of others. We often seek the affirmation of others more than we seek the approval of God.
The challenge for us is to remember that we are created in God’s image and that He wants us to live according to His standards, not the world’s. When we focus on feeding the God-image, we will be less likely to fall prey to the world’s messages.
Sometime today, take a look in a mirror. Remember that the reflection you see is what God calls wonderfully made-an image bearer-perfect in His eyes, His favorite.
See yourself as He sees you.