Thursday, January 27, 2011
Self-image. Self-worth. Identity.
Which is to say, how do we look at ourselves? Why or how much do we value or not value ourselves? How do we define ourselves?
Can we be satisfied in who we are, right now, without depending on some outside support or affirmation that may or may not come in the way that we want it to?
Genesis 1:26-31 says that God created man (i.e. the human race) in His own image. He blessed them (us), and instructed them to be fruitful and increase and fill the earth. And He "saw all that He had made [including but not limited to the human race], and behold, it was very good." In other words, He was satisfied with His work in creating us.
If we are made in the image of God, what more affirmation could we need? Yes, we as a race and as individuals screwed up. We fell short. But still, here we are, created in the image of God. And He loved us enough to send His only begotten Son (John 3:16), "Who is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power." (Hebrews 1:3) This Son paid the penalty for our disobedience and rebellion, and in Him we can be reconciled to God and renewed in fellowship with Him.
That means a renewal of identity for those who are in Christ--an identity not defined by the mistakes we have made, by the people who surround us, by the activities that we are involved in, or by the recognition that we receive or fail to receive from the world. We certainly didn't and couldn't do anything to deserve this newness and cleanness. That doesn't make it any less our true identity. God is perfectly capable of saving the most twisted and broken and reprehensible people and turning them into true Sons and Daughters of His. That's what Jesus died for.