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Seeing yourself through the lens of
One of the things that I think it is vitally important to do as
Christians to do is to renew our minds. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the
behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect” (NLT).
I believe that as Christians that God wants to renew our minds in all
areas of our lives. He wants to change the way we think about this life, how we
use our time, our finances, how we see our jobs, our families and all of our
I especially believe, one area that is vital to renew our minds as
Christians is how we see ourselves. We need to see ourselves not through
our own eyes or the eyes of the world. We need to see ourselves through
the lens of Scripture. Then, and only then will we see ourselves as God
truly sees us.
Now when I came to Christ. I had the worst self esteem in the world. I
really thought I was a waste of space and not worthy to live. This was
shaped by my own wrong thinking and what others have said to me. Most of
the time I just wanted to die. However slowly over time God has renewed
my thinking about myself and changed my thinking from very low poor,
almost non existent self esteem to seeing God's Esteem for me.
Now don't get me wrong it is not pride. The Bible tells us not to think
of ourselves more highly than we ought to (Romans 12:3). It is about
thinking rightly about yourself.
Today I want to share four passages that God has used to change my
thinking. These have released me from wrong patterns of thinking to
right thinking. From absolute untruth, to God's absolute truth.
Each of these Scriptures has been like a building block into my life and
has changed my thinking forever. The old way of thinking is gone and the
new way has come.
1. The Bible says that we are made in God's image
Genesis 1:26-27 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in
our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds
of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the
creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own
image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created
When I became a Christian and read about being made in the image of God
I wasn't sure what it actually meant. According to most theologians or
Bible scholars, being made in God's image has three aspects or three
schools of thought...
- Structural – Structural in the way we are made. We think, can
reason, make choices and love. We are logical cognitive beings. When
we do these things we reflect God's image.
- Vocational – God is vocational. He is creative in the way He
works and created this world. When we create and work and use our
gifts in the world around us we reflect God's image.
- Relational – God is in the perfect loving triune relationship –
the Trinity. Three persons, but one in love, purpose, mission, unity
and relationship. When we love God and relate to each other in
loving ways we reflect God outwards to the world around us.
While most theologians or Bible scholars fall into one of those
camps, I believe that being made in the image of God is a combination of
all three. When we make choices, when we work using God's gifts and when
we related lovingly to each other, we reflect God's image.
Back to Genesis 1:26-27. As I came to this understanding, two main
things touched my heart in this passage.
The first was that I was made by God. The world and evolution told me I
was here by chance. They told me that my ancestors migrated from mud to
the trees over millions of years. Then after millions of more years they
came back down to the ground by a random chance to slowly become human
beings. There was not much hope or comfort in that!
However the Good News is that the Bible tells me that I am not here by
chance and that more importantly I am made in the image of God. As I saw
on a little boys t-shirt at church once. “I am made by God and He
don't make junk”. That image of that little kid running around
church with his “made by God” attitude has stuck with me. I would love
to see that kid now some 15 years later if he started out with that as
his slogan! He would be unstoppable!
The second things this passage told me is that I have some of God
stamped upon me. I am made in His image. This tells me that God has hard
wired His good things into my DNA. I may sin and fall short at times,
but my DNA is firmly rooted, established and founded in Him. This
passage gave me hope that my ancestors were not from mud, but I am part
of the most high God, the King and Creator of the universe!
The Bible tells me that I am made in God's image. Church you are made in
God's image too.
2. The Bible says that we are no longer condemned
Romans 8:1 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who
are in Christ Jesus.
One of my biggest faults as a new Christian was to be self condemning.
It was a pattern I was in and I just couldn't shake it. If I did
something wrong I would beat myself up for days...sometimes even weeks!
I used to talk to myself and say things like. “You call yourself a
Christian and you did this again”. It lasted for years and years. If
there was an Olympic gold medal given out for self condemnation I would
win by the length of the straight.
Because of this negative self talk I was living way below where God
wanted me to be. I was hamstrung, because most of the time I walked
around feeling condemned. Not free as it talks about in John 8:36 (if
the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed). Then one day God really
spoke to my heart about it from Romans 8. Verses 33-34 says...
“Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God
himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn
us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us,
and he is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading
for us” (NLT).
I finally realised that if God the Father has declared me right with
Himself and Jesus was always pleading my case before Him, then I am
really not condemned. I am free all condemnation. Really really truly
free. I also realised that I try to condemn myself I am not
following what God says about me in His Word. He has declared me
righteous in His sight. Who am I to speak against God.
The Bible says that I am free of all condemnation. You are free of all
3. The Bible says that we are God's masterpiece
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The NLT uses the “Masterpiece” instead of workmanship. I really like
that thought. God being the master craftsmen and He made me. Just like
Michel Angelo painting the roof of the Sistine Chapel, God lovingly knit
me together in my mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13-14 echoes this thought. It says, “For you created my
inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you
because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I
know that full well”. God made me and I am wonderfully made. Like
the young boy again with his t-shirt. “God made me and He don't make
The other great thing about this passage is that I am here for a
purpose. As I keep telling my girls. We could have been born at any
time in history, but God chose for us to live now. He made us with
certain gifts and certain abilities to do certain things in the this
place in time. He has a plan and purpose for my life. I find this
very exciting. I find this empowering. I find this changes the way I see
myself. I am no after thought. I am no mistake. I am no chance of
evolution. I am a before thought! God had me on His mind before the
foundations of the world. God had you on His mind too.
The Bible says that I am God's masterpiece. Church you are God's
4. The Bible says that we are seated with Christ
Where you are seated at a special occasion often determines how
important you are to the host of the function. If you are the bridal
table at a wedding reception it means you are very special to the bride
and groom. If you are at the King’s or Prime Minister’s table at a
special function you are held in very high regard.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus returned to heaven He was seated at
the right hand of the Father. That is the highest place of honour in the
whole universe. There is no greater place than being seated next to the
But that is not where the great news stops. You are also seated with
Christ! Let’s have a look at what the Bible says in Ephesians chapter 2…
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made
us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by
grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ, and seated
us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the
coming ages, he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7 NIV)
If you are in Christ Jesus (that means in relationship with Him,
trusting Him for your salvation, and have received Him as your King)
then you are spiritually seated with Christ in the heavenly realms! You
are spiritually seated with Him in the highest place in the universe! I
will just let you soak that in a bit!
Because of this great news you no longer have to walk around with
your face pointing to the ground or your shoulders hunched over. You and
I no longer have to feel unworthy. We have high standing and high
honour with the King and Creator of the universe! You and I are seated
The Bible says that I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.
Church you are seated with Christ too!
As you can see from my message today, God has radically changed the way
I see myself. I no longer see myself as worthless or a waste of space,
but as made in God's image and made with a purpose. I now see myself
through the lens of Scripture.
If you are here today and you have a low self esteem and you don't
see yourself as you should. I would encourage you to grab a copy of
these Scriptures and place them in a prominent place in your home and
read them everyday. Before you read them pray and ask God to help them
to really sink deep into your heart and that He renew your mind.
As I close I want you to remember these four things.
- You are made in the image of God
- You are no longer condemned
- Your are God's masterpiece
- You are spiritually seated with Christ
By Dave Quinn
Founder of PASSION Australia
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