What is self image? Self image is what we believe about ourselves.
Does how we see ourselves agree with how others see us?
Does it agree with how God sees us?
By studying the reactions of others, we may learn how they view us. If their view doesn’t agree with how we view ourselves, this offers us an opportunity to rethink our words and actions. Do we need to change them, so they show a more accurate picture of our character? Or do we need to change our character, so our words and actions show what we want them to show?
The Bible tells us God’s viewpoint. It is the only true standard we can trust. We can measure it with ours and adjust our viewpoint to His.
“Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves” (from Romans 12:3 TLB).
“Apart from me [Jesus] you can do nothing” (from John 15:5 TLB).
“I can do everything through Christ” (from Philippians 4:13 TLB).
God created us for dependence on Him. When we connect with Him, we have unlimited potential—for He has all we need to succeed.
Where do we get our self image?
As babies, we try to walk—fall—get up and try again many times. People’s words play an important role in creating a self concept. Parents who say, “You can do it!” will encourage their children to form a healthy self image. Parents who rush to the child’s aid may say with unsaid words, “You can’t do it.” Parents who ignore their children may say with unsaid words, “I don’t care if you do it or not. You are not worth my attention.”
Through our lives, people besides parents influence the way we see ourselves. Teachers, relatives, friends, coworkers, and even strangers can create either a true or false self image.
By studying God’s Word, we can renew our minds and begin to see ourselves as we really are. Then we can depend on Him to change us into all He created us to be.
How does our self image affect us and others?
Self perceptions influence our attitudes and actions. If we feel inferior, we may try to prove we are “better” by whatever standards we set. Jake stepped on others to advance at work. He only felt good about himself when he had a top position. Judy spent more than she had on cosmetic surgery and clothes. She only felt good about herself when she looked better than others.
When we feel superior, it’s easy to treat others with disrespect.
By accepting God’s view of us, we can live a more fulfilling life. We need wisdom; our Wise
Creator is willing to share His (James 1:5). We need strength; our Almighty God will share His
(Isaiah 40:31). We long for unconditional love and acceptance; our Loving Father welcomes us into
His family (John 1:12).
As God’s children, we don’t have to feel pressure to please other people. We don’t have to impress others. We can accept God’s gracious love and share it with others.
I would like to hear about words spoken to you that formed your self image—true or false. How did they help or hinder you? How can we help others see themselves from God’s viewpoint?