“Then God said, ‘Let Us make human beings in Our image, to be like Us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground. So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.’ ” Genesis 1:26-27
It was in 1965 that Morris Rosenberg first initiated the term self-image.1 Since that time, hundreds of books have been written about self, which make us ask questions such as, “Who am I? Do I have worth? Do I have value?” The focus is entirely on self. But is this what God taught and intended? I don’t believe so for several reasons.
As we read Scripture, we discover that Jesus never was focused on self. In every way, He exemplified placing others before Himself. He put His Father’s will above His own when He said in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” Luke 22:42 He taught His disciples that serving was more important than being served: “ For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28; And He taught that others were more important than self: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
When some focus on self-image, they possibly strive for status gained through wealth and/or power to demonstrate their importance in the world; but not God! “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:9-12 “The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at Him. Then He said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.” Luke 16:14-15
God does not want us to focus on self or feel valued because of cultural status, wealth, or power, nor does He want us to focus on ourselves to the extent that we question who we are and whether or not we have worth or value. God never intended that we judge our worth by the world's standards! God wants you and I to remember that we are created His own image! Imagine, God’s image! Would we ever question God’s worth or His value? NO! If we started to list proofs of His worth and value, His character, and how much He loves us, the list would go on indefinitely! Therefore, because we are made in God’s image, we NEVER should question our worth and value. I will have to admit that one time I did exactly this, when I was a mature enough Christian that I should have known better! I questioned my value because my life situation had changed and I felt I lacked purpose. I’ll never forget that it was as if Jesus reached down and held me when I expressed this to my husband, for Terry reached out, took me by the shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said, “Candice Mary Thomas, I love and value you not because of what you do, but because of who you are.”
This is the knowledge God would have you and I place deep within our hearts. God gives us our worth; He loves us; and He is happy that we are who He made us to be! He never values us because of what we do, but because of who He made us to be! So let’s discard the term self-image, remembering that we are made in God’s very own image and we are God’s treasures indeed!
Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
Matthew 19:30 “But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
Matthew 20:16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
Mark 10:25 “In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
1 Timothy 6:11-12 “But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”
PRAYER: Father God, I thank You that You made me who I am. When I have doubts about that, please remind me that You created me in Your image! When I think of the depth of all this implies, I honestly admit that this truth is almost incomprehensible to my mind! Yet I know the like You, You have given me a will, emotion, and intellect; please, help me always use these for Your glory. Let me never forget that what You have given me in these areas as well as talents and spiritual gifts are to be used not for my gain, but for use in the spreading Your Good News of salvation through belief in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Let me always find my value and worth in You, Father, and not in anything in this world. Amen.
DISCLAIMER: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?!
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other "teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.