How do you see yourself?
For some people this is a tough question. Personally, I didn’t always know or understand that God saw me differently than I saw myself. I had a very hard time seeing past what was wrong with me, and a few situations in my life drove me to develop an extremely low self-image. I saw all of my mistakes, flaws, and shortcomings, and inside I never felt like I accurately measured up. I saw myself through eyes of shame, rejection, pain, and betrayal, and that led me to believe everyone including God would view me just the same. I thought I had to work and strive to be perfect and accepted, and all that did was lead to further issues and disappointments.
When I decided and was able to look beyond myself, it allowed me to value my life knowing I am truly His creation and made in His image. My confidence must be in Him, and nothing else matters when I put Jesus above it all. Our true beauty and worth is found in Jesus.
Self-worth, or remembering that we have value in Christ, clearly can be difficult for us. Undoubtedly we all have a past, we tend to be our own worst critic, and we feel insecure and unworthy at times. We all make mistakes because we cannot be perfect, and truthfully that is okay!
The good news is you can recover from the messes in your life, and you can thrive at being yourself, the self that God made you to be. We have to learn how to look at ourselves through the eyes of Christ, though, by the definition He gives of us. He loves us because of who we are in Christ, not because of what other people think about us. As difficult as it may be, we cannot be overly concerned about what others think of us and the decisions we make or have made.
We cannot live our lives comparing ourselves to others, trying to be who we are not, because God made us who we are for a purpose. He made us different from one another, each with specific gifts and talents, and it is all for His glory. We must intentionally put our focus on Jesus and embrace our uniqueness and all that God has given us. He chooses to see us as right and justified because we are in His Son and we believe. He is so much greater than our flaws, struggles, and our past. God tells us it does not matter how we lived before or what has happened; He tells us we are forgiven and that this is a new beginning.
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come."
His mercy is new each day, so do not look back. Instead look forward to the good things that are ahead! Christ loves us unconditionally and consistently. He won't love us any more or less today than yesterday, and the same goes for tomorrow. Remember that He knew what He was doing when He made you, and He approved of you before anyone had a chance to disapprove. The word tells us He is for us, so we can be assured that we are loved and accepted in His sight regardless of what we do. He sees us as worthy, precious, valued, and capable. We need to become rooted in these promises, not in shame, guilt, or negativism.
At Catalyst, it is one of our goals to nourish roots of peace, love, and joy by helping women to identify with our Lord Jesus. We want them to know they have been set free to live a new life, and they can be themselves; everyone is valued and appreciated in Jesus. Remember, in Christ you are loved, forgiven, saved, reconciled, rewarded, new, and victorious! God specifically chose you and loves you, and therefore you need to love yourself too! He doesn't make mistakes, so rejoice in who you are! Take hold of that new creation reality!
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed" (Psalm 139: 13-16).