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Friday, April 25, 2008

Self-image Vs. Christ’s Image

Romans 8:29 - For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Let me get to the point!

As God's people we should be less concerned about self-image and more concerned about being conformed into His image. God's purpose for us is not to have a positive self image or to overcome a negative self image but His purpose for us is to be conformed into the image of his Son. The preoccupation with self image in our culture is a subtle manifestation of pride. It is not that we do not all possess an image of ourselves. The problem is that it is usually too rosy of an image and does not properly reflect our true condition. I find it amazing that Christian people have bought into this concept that one of our main problems is a low view of self. This is simply not compatible with the Scripture.

If we see ourselves accurately we will readily admit with the Apostle Paul that in our flesh dwelleth no good thing. We will exclaim with him, "O wretched man that I am". I will argue with him that it is I who is the chief of sinners. Over and over again the Bible warns us of the tendency to entertain too high opinion of ourselves.

Notice Job's assessment of himself after God told him to gird up himself like a man for he would demand of him an answer!

Job 40:3,4 - Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.

Job 42:1,5,6 - Then Job answered the LORD, and said, . . . I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

God lets Job's personal assessment of self stand. He does not instruct Job to quit having such a low opinion of himself.

When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up he exclaimed, "Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, . . . .

God does not say, "Now Isaiah it is not emotionally healthy to have such a low opinion of yourself." We need to quit worrying so much about emotional health and start giving more attention to spiritual health. If we are spiritually healthy the emotions will take care of themselves. I digress…..

Let us all acknowledge we have been predestined, not to have a positive self image but rather we have been predestined to be conformed into the image of his Son. It is a conformed image we are to desire not a positive self image. How can we possibly sustain a positive self image?

We are dirt.

We are depraved dirt.

We are returning to dirt.

We are only rendered glorious by the image of Christ being stamped upon our lives. This never results in a high opinion of our self but rather a high opinion of our Saviour!

1 Corinthians 15:49 - And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

The first is not a good thing, the last is. How can we be positive about bearing the image of the earthy?

Galatians 4:19 - My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, . . . .

It is not the formation of a positive self-image but the process of Christ being formed in us that should occupy our attention.

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