“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
LOOKING AT OURSELVES AS GOD SEES US
People suffer not just from bad decision making, but also from bad self-images. They feel they aren’t good enough, not even for God. They have been tricked in the past by viewing themselves in false comparisons to other people. Perhaps they have been told they are overweight or not pretty, or in some other way just don’t rate. This path of believing the negative things others say, or the ones we say to ourselves, is just as destructive as the lives of those who never question themselves at all, but have taken the wrong path.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. When we believe what others say, we can be hard critics of ourselves, and lose sight of the beauty of being made in God’s image. In Genesis [1:27]–28 it says, “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” When Jesus says, “Follow me,” some people don’t assume he means them. But certainly, he does! They, too, are made in the image of God. Oftentimes a significant life event is required to muster up the strength to know there is another path. A path of believing that we are worthy.
This path to no longer being blind requires a giving up of yourself. In the Gospel there is no better example of this then John the Baptist. In John [3:30], John the Baptist says, “He must increase but I must decrease.” A powerful statement from a man who was already recognized by his community as a major religious figure. At the time of this statement, John and Jesus had an overlapping ministry, but John was willing to give his up to not distract from Jesus’ message of the good news. He knew he was like the best man at a wedding and was more than willing to relinquish his fame.
Those who are no longer blind have had to agree to the same submission. Listening to the words that God speaks about us being created in the image of God erases what the world says about us. We are all worthy and His promises are for us. Believing this means walking away from ourselves and towards walking with Jesus. Ironically in this act of submission we become freed, no longer wedded to the world or what the world tells us.
Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman