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What Determines Self-Image

How you see yourself and how you feel about yourself will affect just about every aspect of your life. You will probably think, speak, act and react as the person you think you are. The writer of Proverbs says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” The real you is the person God sees, not the image you project (Prov. 23:7). The truth is—you will never rise above the image you have of yourself in your own mind. In developing a healthy self-image, we must base our self-image on what God’s Word says about us, rather than the lies that were told to us.

What are the three essential components of a healthy self-image?

  1. Affection—A sense of belongingness, of being wanted, accepted, cared for, enjoyed, and loved.

  2. Acceptance—A sense of worth and value—an inner feeling that I count, I’m valued, I have something to offer.

  3. Approval—A sense of being competent—confident that I can perform a task, meet a challenge, cope with life.

What are the primary sources of our self-image?

There are four factors that help us construct our self-image:

  1. The outer world (Social) includes all the external factors that have gone into your makeup—parentage, upbringing, how you were trained, treated, loved and cared for, a reflection of the reactions of the important people in your life and all your life experiences up to the present.

  2. The inner world (Psychological) —this includes the mental and emotional equipment we need to cope with life. It includes our senses, our nerves, our capacity to learn, register and respond. This also includes the fact that every human being has a sinful, selfish human nature that affects everything that we do.

  3. Satan and his cunning wiles use our low self-esteem as weapons against us. He uses inferiority, inadequacy and self-belittling to defeat Christians and prevent them from realizing their full potential as God’s children. He has the ability to put thoughts in our minds that do not originate with us.

God and His truthful Word is the key to straightening out our false beliefs about ourselves. God is the key to moving from the problem of low self-esteem toward a positive self-concept. He is the key for turning away from the disease to the cure of the disease of low self-esteem.

Personal worth is a gift of God. It is not earned or achieved, cannot be added to or taken from, need not be proved and must not be denied. We do nothing to qualify for it. It is ours at birth. As with any gift, it must be accepted, consciously with thanksgiving.

What is the biblical basis for establishing our self-worth?

Consider the following facts:

  • God created me—in His image as a unique person. His creation gives me worth. (Gen. 1:27)

  • God loves me—God is a loving heavenly Father. His love gives me a sense of belonging. (Jer. 31:3)

  • God planned for me—God wants my heart to be His throne. His plan gives me significance. (Psa. 139:16)

  • God gifted me—God gave me natural abilities and spiritual gifts. His gifts give me competence. (Eph. 4:7)

  • God’s Son died for me—Jesus died on the cross for my sins. His death makes me acceptable. (2 Cor. 5:16-18)

The above facts establish your permanent worth. What God accomplished can’t be changed. To deny these facts is tantamount to calling God a liar and is a refined form of blasphemy. Because God has accepted you , You can act with confidence because of who you are, not to prove who you are.

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