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IN THE MIRROR: YOUR SELF-IMAGE

Nearly everyone has a distorted self-image. We are typically our own worst judges not only of our physical appearance, but also of our character and personality. No matter how much we look at ourselves in the mirror and consider our impressions on others, we cannot see ourselves as others really see us. Mostly, I attribute this to a sort of spiritual blindness.

And our only accurate self-image should be how God our Father sees us.

When we look at ourselves in a mirror, though we may be able to see with our eyes we don't always perceive ourselves accurately. We don't perceive ourselves in the light of reality (reality being God's view).

You should have an anti-virus program always running in your brain, so that as soon as one of those types of viruses (wrong thoughts about yourself) "swims in", your anti-virus program surrounds it, isolates and destroys it, replacing it with what God says is the truth about you!

A person's negative self-image verdict is most always a lie. Our own self-image is generally the product of what we've been told by others since we were children; and we tend to emulate who we've been led to believe we are by others. For instance, if you were convinced by others as a child that you're no good, you will tend to live your whole life in that image of yourself.

The reality about you is God's Word about YOU personally. If you are a true born-again believer in Jesus, you must know and agree that you are a fearfully and wonderfully made child of the King whom He has personally and specifically hand-chosen for adoption for His own good pleasure!

And why did He choose you? Because he foreknew you. How? Because He knit you together Himself. You, like king David (at one point himself even being an adulterer and murderer), are "a man after His own heart".

(Ac 13:22) ...I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart...
(1Sa 13:14) ...the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart...
(1 Kings 9:4) And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart...
(1 Kings 11:4) And his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
(2 Chron 16:9) For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

Why Did He Choose You?

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:9)

But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.(2 Thes 2:13-14)

...for many be called, but few chosen. (Matthew 20:16)

We can be pretty sure He didn't choose you for your sinful past and for your mistakes and failings. So what then?

My own belief is that He has chosen YOU for the particular combination of experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and qualities that are so uniquely yours!

You are a totally unique, one-in-a-zillion to Him. You with your talents and qualities, even with your weaknesses, combined with all your life experiences that have given you the understanding and insights you have, makes you the one-in-a-zillion perfect choice for a position in His Kingdom that no one else could fill. If you didn't fill it, it might have to go vacant.

But it's all about your heart, your heart of love for our Lord, your heart to please Him.

I am pretty convinced that when Our Father and Our Lord Jesus "look upon" you, They only see your unique strengths and qualities that They love about you. They only see the unique reason They want you to be with Them throughout eternity. I really don't believe They see anything other than that, because They know the end from the beginning of you. They know that when you are glorified (which is scriptural), only your Christ-like qualities will remain for eternity. They regard you as who you will be once you're finished.

I personally believe this following scripture is not a statement generalized for a "people", but is speaking about each of us as individuals. Otherwise, it wouldn't say "whom", it would say "those":

...For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:29)

Isn't that awesome? And notice that it is written in past tense, as if it's already happened! For the Father and Jesus, who you will be in the end is clear to Them.

If you are truly a born-again believer in Jesus, you're as good as already glorified, a done deal in God's mind! Those He foreknew, already called, already conformed to the image of Christ, already justified, and already glorified according to Him. How amazing is that?

Here's my own take on "foreknew": God knew way ahead of time that I would grow to become a man after His own heart (loving Him). But that's because I'm convinced He can see the future without controlling it.

And here's my take on "predestinate": Knowing that I would one day make the free-will choice to surrender my life over to Him, He arranged circumstances to bring me to that point in my life when I would be ready to make that choice. He set me up for it and arranged the perfect circumstances for me at the perfect time!

God being able to see into my future, to see that I would one day make a freewill choice to accept His free gift of salvation and surrender my life to Him and love Him and devote my life to Him, is beyond the scope of our human understanding, but that doesn't mean it can't be true! And I am not a calvinist or armenianist or anything else - I am purely a Truth-ist, a God's Word - ist. I merely write what I read.

My Thoughts About Myself

So when I think negatively about myself, isn't that actually sinful? If a negative thought about myself swims in, and I regard it and uphold it, it's kind of like calling God a liar, isn't it? "Yeah, God's Word says I'm a specially adopted and beloved child of His, chosen specifically by Him, but I know better. The truth is, I'm ugly and worthless and no good."

Do I know better than God? Should I feel free to second-guess how He sees me? At the very least, whenever I think poorly about myself, I render myself less effective for God. I bring myself down. It's just not okay, and it's certainly not noble.

When I think poorly of myself, it makes me want to sink into it. It's like taking one of God's tools that He's trying to keep clean and well-oiled, and throwing it into the dirt.

But when I regard myself as God does, it makes me want to be a better man!

(1 Sam 16:7) For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

You know what I love about myself? I love what's in my heart that is of God, that is from Him. I love how much I love goodness and hate wickedness. And I am perfectly well aware that anything good about me and anything I know of God has been put in me by Him.

(Matthew 16:15-17) He saith unto them, "But whom say ye that I am?" And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."

Yes, any "spiritual blindness" we have about ourselves compared to how God sees us is of Satan, the enemy. We need to keep that anti-virus program running in our brains to snatch those enemy thoughts about ourselves when they swim in, take them immediately captive, and wash them away with some ready scriptures of the truth of how God sees us, and of God's incredible love for us.

Repent of whatever you've done wrong, then once you've asked forgiveness from Him for it, forget it as God has forgotten it - as far as the east is from the west! It's gone! Just like Jesus told the prostitute:

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:10-11)

Throw away your own earthly mirror you may have grown accustomed to using, and use God's. I don't want to doubt or second-guess God's Word about anyone or anything, whether it's what I've always believed or want to believe or not, including about myself. It's unbecoming of an adopted child of the almighty Master and Creator of the Universe. I must believe only what He says about me and His incredible love for me, knowing He's certainly no fool in choosing me.

Are you a man or woman after God's own heart? Do you love goodness and justice, and hate evil and wickedness? Are you one of His very own King Davids? Have you surrendered control of your earthly life entirely to Jesus, accepting Him as your Lord and Savior?

If so, then be free to live in the Joy of knowing how much He loves you and how special you are to Him, and stay closely tuned to Him for more!

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