Do you sometimes struggle with a negative self image? You are not alone!
Once I became a parent I was shocked to find how much my self-image was affected. It is as if the moment my children were born, I walked into one of those fun house of mirrors and all my weaknesses were suddenly magnified and my strengths reduced to non-existent.
Truth is, as a woman, a wife, and a mother, I often struggle with feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and defeat and I am sure I am not the only one.
If, like me, you have ever experienced these feelings, you could probably benefit from looking at yourself from a different perspective.
“Who does God say that you are?”
I came across this question this week as I was reading a book my sister-on-law gave me for my birthday a couple of months ago and I was deeply intrigued. The book I am referring to is called Parenting The Wholehearted Child: Captivating your child’s heart with God’s extravagant grace by Jeannie Cunnion.
In a chapter entitled “Imperfect parents, perfect grace” Jeannie writes that
“when internal and external voices proclaim, ‘You are not enough. You’re not measuring up. You should be more like this, or you should be more like that. You are a disappointment,’ we can remember this: The only one who gets to define us is God, and He call us beloved sons and daughters.”
So what does God think of you and me?
In her book, Jeannie compiled a list with a few Bible examples of what God has to say about us and I decided to share with you:
- He loves you just as you are – His love is unconditional
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV
“[…] And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:17b-20 NIV
- You are fully known and fully loved. He knows everything about you, and He accepts you, understands you, and likes you
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me…” Psalm 139:1-5 NIV (All of Psalm 139 is relevant here)
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7 NIV
- You are the apple of His eye
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” Psalm 17:8 NIV
- You are a King’s kid
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” John 3:1 NIV
- He is for you
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32 NIV
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
- You are his masterpiece
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
- He delights in you; He celebrates over you
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
- You are a friend of God
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15 NIV
- You are loved, blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,” Ephesians 1:3-8 NIV
After reading through all the texts in this list, it felt good to be reminded that my worth doesn’t come from my actions and accomplishments rather, it comes from God and what He has already done for me. He knows all my imperfections and shortcomings and still, He chooses to lavish me with His love. That means I no longer have to hold on to these feelings of guilt and defeat, I can just hand them over to God and allow myself to be transformed by Him.
In the words of Jeannie
“It’s not about what we do. It’s about what His grace does through us when we surrender to His wholehearted acceptance of us.”
Lord, thank you for loving me so! Your grace is sufficient for me. May I be humble enough to surrender daily to you so that your strength may be made perfect in my weaknesses. Amen.
Has this post been helpful to you? Do you have any other texts to add? Please share with me in the comments below.