Derek Thompson

Is your self-image important to you? Do you take pride in the way that you dress and present yourself before the public? Most would say yes. Why?
The ever-changing world in which we live in today has created a society and a mindset (especially in teenagers and young adults) that the way we view ourselves can never be enough. It has presented for us unrealistic standards of perfection and beauty. No one can be beautiful unless they are thin, have no blemishes, and their hair is made of gold.
Unfortunately, these standards have impacted all of us. None of us are ever truly happy with ourselves. Instead of living up to the standards of God, we instead live up to the standards of men. Let’s examine what God has to say about our self-image and our self-esteem.
It is ignorant to assume that we are to pay no attention to how we view ourselves. Jesus taught that we should love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). How can we truly show love to our constituents if we have no love for ourselves?
Now, I am not suggesting that we should consider ourselves perfect. Paul cautions us in this matter in Romans 12:3. He tells us to, “…not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” (NKJV). We must not attempt to be, “high-minded,” or, “wise in [our] own conceits,” (Romans 11:20; 12:16).
Having too much self-esteem can be prideful and arrogant. Both of which we know are sins (James 4:6, Proverbs 16:5).
But consider the image that our Father has of us, as His creation. He does not look outwardly at our physical appearance, “but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV)
Jesus Himself tells us that, “you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7, NKJV)
So what is the cure? How can we learn to look at ourselves in a newer and better light? To look at ourselves as others see us and as our Father sees us, rather than how society views us? Consider Peter’s admonition in 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV):
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
Or the psalmist’s in Psalm 139:13-14 (NKJV):
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
God created us in His image (Genesis 1:27). We are to view ourselves according to His image of us, not man’s image.
The following is from my own mind and is my opinion. Take it with a grain of salt.
I feel that women more than often struggle with this more than us men do. Society has placed more image barriers on females than males, and that is not fair to them nor to us. Men, may I encourage us to find our love languages? Women want to feel important and loved. It is our job to do so.
Women, don’t adhere to society’s image of you. Love yourself and who you are, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Derek Thompson