used the cultural standards of beauty and success to judge your worth?
For the Christian, there is no such thing as self-image. We are made in
God’s image to reflect His glory.
Christian self-evaluation is done as an act of
responsibility. The Bible tells us how to think of ourselves and how to
act. Jesus challenges us to be more like Him and less like our human
nature. We understand that we are all sinners in need of redemption.
When you contrast this to the secular view, stark
differences are apparent. Modern views of the self are based on the idea
that each person decides what is right and should know himself or
herself well enough to determine the course of action for his or her
life. But we need divine guidance to accomplish the purposes for our
existences. The more we try to live apart from God, the more we fail.
Break Free to His Image
God invites us to a personal relationship in which we can
find ultimate acceptance. With His help, we can break free from a
negative self-image. Review these points in order to correct your image.
1. Have a proper understanding of what self-image is.
A self-image is based on your own ideas of acceptance and
accomplishment. A God-image is built on the inherent dignity and worth
you have as His child. Nothing you do or accomplish impacts your worth.
2. God esteems you when people do not. God cares
about your heart and looks at things that have eternal significance. Scripture reminds us that we are
accepted, secure and significant because we are His.
3. At the root of a negative self-image is a lack of
true identity. If identity is based on anything other than who we
are in Christ, it can be shattered. Identity in Christ is necessary to
develop God-esteem. No matter what your past, salvation changes you to a
new creation and immediately connects you to the family of God.
4. Daily renew your mind with the Word of God. Value
what God values. Change begins in your thought-life. As you think on
things that are good, pure, noble, lovely and of good report, review the
promises of God. Identify the lies of the enemy and ask God to reveal
His truth about who you are.
5. Change your behavior. Stop striving for
self-actualization and ways to be loved. Obey His Word, and you will
receive His blessings. Rest in Him and allow His love to transform you.
Linda Mintle, Ph.D., is the author of Breaking Free
From a Negative Self-Image, from which this article is adapted.