The old saying goes “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But my question is what lens are you viewing yourself through?
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? What thoughts come to mind?
Are they kind or are they critical?
Do you have a positive self-image or do you struggle with self-acceptance or view yourself through a judgmental lens?
One of the best gifts you can give yourself and the others in your life is the gift of self-acceptance. You were created by God, in His own image in fact, to be loved, joyful, prosperous, and to feel great in your own skin! But unfortunately, we are bombarded on a daily basis with cultural images of perfection, expectations of success, and even religious moral performance standards that can lead us to hold ourselves up to standards that are not only unrealistic and unhealthy, but not what even God expects of us.
Are you skinny enough? Do you have the right job? Are you raising your kids right? Are you leading your team like a world champion?
Seriously, enough already.
Add to that our upbringings. Inevitably at one point or another, we all experienced the pain of rejection—ouch. Then as a result, possibly learned to self-reject and take on the opinions of the misinformed as our own. What a mess, huh?
It’s no wonder that 19 million people or 1 in 10 Americans struggle with depression on an annual basis. But how in the world do you dig yourself out of years of self-criticism and negativity to develop a positive self-image and a good relationship with yourself?
Everyone’s story is different, mine included. But for me, I was in my thirties before I got serious about learning to accept and love myself. I grew up in the Bible belt where some of my earliest memories are of sitting in church being told I was a sinner headed for hell. Unfortunately, if I was told about the love of God, I don’t really remember it. I think I was too scared to hear much after the hell part. But I do remember trying really, really hard to be a good girl and never quite measuring up to what I believed were the standards of God. Eventually, I just rebelled. I figured what’s the point, I can’t measure up anyway, so why try? It would be years before I figured out the things I’m sharing with you in this article.
Which is mainly this…
Making peace with yourself and learning to love yourself based on the revelation of who you are IN CHRIST will transform your life. It will improve your relationships with others and bring stability that grounds you like never before.
The key, I believe, is learning about what Christ accomplished on the cross not only for you, but as you.
When you begin to understand the new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), who you are in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30), and what it means to live in union with God (1 John 4:17), everything miraculously changes.
For me, it all started with the scripture “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
At the time, I had just started back attending church and was starting to pray for people. But, every time I did, I would feel so inadequate. I would think, What do I have to offer? So one day, I clearly heard the Lord say, “You need an identity overhaul! You need to meditate for one whole year on Colossians 1:27 and recognize who you really are.”
So day after day, I would stand in front of the mirror and say out loud, “Christ is in me.” After a week or so, something miraculous happened.
I heard the Lord say, “You’re Jesus in a Schlyce suit.”
Man, what a visual. It was like Halloween, and I was the costume. But it changed everything. I began to see myself differently and finally began to realize what it meant to be one with God.
After that, it got harder and harder to relate to a version of myself that was less than divinity. The old person I was before Christ had died (Galatians 2:20), and I was now in union with the God of the universe. Whoa!
Well, guess what. As a follower of Jesus, this is true for you too!
So go ahead—I dare you.
Get in front of the mirror and visualize your union with God. Use your spiritual eyes, and see yourself as you really look—like Jesus in a fill-in-the-blank-with-your-name suit! It will not only change your self-image, but empower you to nip negative self-talk in the bud.