Self-image is defined as the mental picture that we have of ourselves. It can be positive, negative or somewhere in between. Too often we derive our self-image from flawed and ever changing human opinion and usually these trends are completely based on physical attributes.
Please notice that I am writing about self-image – not self-esteem. I believe that we can have a balanced self-image and we already have too much self-esteem. Some have an unusually positive self-image or high opinion of themselves. This personality can even sometimes be a self-indulgent narcissist. Some have a depressingly low self-image – always emphasizing their flaws. Both of these extremes are unpleasant and unhealthy.
So, how do we get to a healthy self-image? We look up. We go vertical. Our healthy and true self-image comes from God and Him alone. This is the opposite of what most of us do. Most of us look at other human beings. We go horizontal. We find another person who isn’t as attractive or talented as us and we feel better about ourselves or we look around and see others who are more attractive, more successful and more talented and you guessed it, we get down on ourselves. It is a never ending cycle of elation to despair. There will always be others that don’t “measure up” to us and likewise, there will always be more that will surpass us. We must look vertical to God our creator – the One who knows us intimately. How can we learn about our true image? The answers are all in the Bible.
He created us in His image. We are so loved by the Creator of the universe, that He came down to die on the cross and pay for our sins and if you have trusted in Christ’s work alone, you are now clothed in His righteousness. That’s right – when He looks at you, God sees His perfect Son. You are called beloved. Don’t we absolutely love it when another human loves us and refers to us in an endearing way? Well, the Creator loves you and calls you His beloved and you have the most beautiful garment on – Christ’s garment of righteousness.
A healthy self-image will benefit your marriage, parenting and other relationships. A healthy self-image helps you pour out into other lives instead of retreating inward and you will model healthy behavior for your children too. Finally, a healthy self-image stops the cycle of elation to despair and you will find peace.
I hope that you will put your trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross and His powerful resurrection. As we celebrate Easter Sunday or as many of us call it, Resurrection Sunday, we are reminded that Jesus’ resurrection represents God’s acceptance of Jesus’ payment for sins and His victory over death. Put your trust in Him alone and discover through reading His word, your real image.