Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Layers: The "Self" Issues


Today I thought I'd share with you a chapter from my latest (Bible study) release: Layers.  So many of us struggle with poor self-image in such an appearance-focused, self-absorbed world.  I hope this will give you some things to think about, and to be reminded that you are a God-crafted, one-of-a-kind, especially loved, human being.  :)


Layers of Self-Worth, Self-Image and Self-Esteem

My worth is not made up in self, for if it were I’d be left empty.  My worth is found in Christ, the author and perfector of my faith and lover of my soul who fills me with utter completeness.

Offering Up…

Life can be so hard.  We get beat down, bruised up and reminded daily how small we are in the grand scheme of things.  All of that can take such a mighty toll on our mental image of who we are.  Dear friend, go to the Father today and ask Him to fill your cup of purpose and worth.  Let Him refresh you today and say to you…”You are beautiful!  You are mine!”

 Jesus loves me this I know…

Did you ever sing that song in church?  Perhaps your grandmother lovingly cradled you on her lap and sang the words to you.  Maybe, you don’t even know what I’m talking about.  If that’s the case, there is a simple but wonderful song that has been taught to children for generations.  It reminds us that yes, Jesus loves us because the Bible tells us so.  So why don’t we believe it?

 Unfortunately, since we live in a fallen world, sin has taken over and polluted everything God made good.  Too many lives have been shattered by abuse, loss of a loved one, abandonment, hurtful words, and unloving attitudes.  As we walk along our life path, these things stick to our thoughts and manipulate how we see ourselves.  Truth is, though, God sees us in a completely different way.

 Find a mirror and spend a couple minutes intently looking at yourself.  Seriously!  Get up and find that mirror and really examine the image in the glass.

 
§  Describe your first reaction.  What do you see?

 

§  Read Psalm 139:13-14.  Tell me in your own words what these verses say.

 

§  How do those verses line up with what you see in the mirror?

 

Sweet one, if you are struggling with how you view yourself, I can’t change your thoughts…but God can.  Look at the last sentence of verse 14: “I know that full well.” 

Understanding the hugeness of God’s infinite power in bringing your life into being; wrapping your mind around the fact that the Lord and creator of the universe actually took time to knit you together in your mother’s womb knowing all the days ordained for you before even one of them had come into being, is enough to step back and say, “Wow!”  How can we then criticize or diminish the life God has given to us? 

v  
Throughout my childhood and teen years I struggled with poor self image.  I was a scrawny kid with long stringy hair and huge buck teeth.  It seemed for a time that my legs grew faster than anything else on my body, thereby making me clumsy and prone to falling.  Entering my teen years, of course I wanted to fit in.  I wanted boys to notice me, but my body was just not moving along with the rest of the girls my age, if you know what I mean.  It felt as if I was invisible – unnoticed and off God’s radar.  By the time I reached high school, my desperation for acceptance was at an all time high.  Though I had a core group of friends, I was never really in the “in” crowd.  My shyness did not help matters and it kept me from participating in things I would have loved to be a part of.  Thankfully, by the time I hit my middle twenties, God did a radical thing in my life.  He broke me – physically and spiritually; changing my inward focus to up and outward.  I recognized the fact that all those years, my eyes had been on self.  All the “poor me” feelings had been nothing short of pride and self-focus.  Once He turned my gaze toward Him, the feelings of love and acceptance I so desperately longed for now came flooding in.  It no longer mattered what everyone else thought, but totally mattered what God thought.  I was His and He had made me perfectly well.

 
§  What’s your story?  Have you ever struggled with self-worth/image?  If not, then praise God!  You are miles ahead of me.  If you have, write out the struggles you’ve faced, then ask God to show you who you really are.

 Reflection…

I’m going to leave you with a short poem I wrote.  Read it.  Take it in.  Then make it your prayer today.  Tomorrow we will finish this topic and hopefully be rid of a layer that so often hinders our view of Christ.  God bless, sweet one.

 

Who Am I?
by Kristi Neace
 
I am beautiful.
The world may name me plain, unimportant or less than perfect. 
My body may be broken or my hair a mess, 
But God says, “I am your designer.”

I am worthy.
Not because I’m rich or well dressed.
 
I don’t sit with kings or pen inspiring songs.

My name may never be known or face be recognized,

But God says, “You are chosen!”


I am unique.
I am not a copy of anyone else.

I was formed by the Master.

His loving hand knit me together and created who I am.

God tells me, “You are special.”

 
I am loved.

Not because of what I’ve done or who I’ve become.
I am loved because He first loved me.

He has walked with me in times of trouble as well in times of peace.

He holds my hand and keeps me stilled.

God says to me, “You are my beloved.”

 
Who am I?  I’ll tell you. 
I am His!



No comments:

Post a Comment