A God Formed Self-Image

May 26, 2024

How do you see yourself? How you see the most important person in your life sees you is a good indication of your self-image. Think of growing up and how your self-image was formed by how your parents, teacher, coach, or whomever that was important to you saw you. Think then how important it is to demonstrate love and appreciation on the little ones in our lives and to help them have a good self-image. Also think about how falling into the selfish trap of being the most important person in your life leads to a self-image that is as volatile as your feelings and circumstances.

Stop the madness! Let’s talk about the most stable and profitable self-image as formed by God’s word. We must understand that by nature without God in our lives the picture is very bleak.

Ephesians 2:1–3 (ESV) — 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Psalm 7:11 (ESV) — 11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

On the other hand, once God blesses us to see our desperate need of His salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and we cry to Him for mercy, there’s an altogether different view.

1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV) — 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

Romans 10:8–11 (ESV) — 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Just consider the mercy of God reaching down to where we are and raising us up to a newness of life in Jesus Christ. In fact, consider the new way that God sees us:

Ephesians 2:4–10 (ESV) — 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

No longer objects of wrath, no longer without hope, we no longer see ourselves as worthless, rather as redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and by grace given faith and great potential in the service of God.

It gets better. In the first chapter of the book of Ephesians we are reminded that as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we have been chosen by God, predestined to be His adopted children, made acceptable, as we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and we have been given an eternal inheritance. Not only that, but God has sealed us and given us a guarantee of our inheritance by the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

How’s your self-image? Is God the most important person in your life, or are you? If He is, then look again at the way He sees you by looking at the word of God and what He says to each of us to see ourselves as His children, as those who bear His name because He has adopted them into His family.

In the book of numbers there is a blessing that was to be pronounced upon the people of God to remind them of how God sees them, which would be an encouragement of expectation of His care and protection. It also reminded them of who they are because of what God has done and will do in their lives. In other words, it was a reminder of what God thought of them. Look at this blessing which is also appropriate for God’s people today to consider:

Numbers 6:22–27 (ESV) — 22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

There is nothing so encouraging as to look into the word of God and see how God looks upon us. If you have called upon the Lord and looked to Jesus Christ for salvation, don’t let a day go by but that you remind yourself of the key to an appropriate self-image – how God sees you. Likewise, look again at what God says about those who turn from Him in pride. It’s important to view things as God declares in His word.


Bob Brubaker, Pastor