Image is Everything
Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26-28
Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves.” Genesis 1:26
Image is supposedly everything. So what’s a self-image?
Think of it this way. Around your house you probably have loads of photos. Baby pictures, vacation snapshots, school portraits, and family photos all give you a fair idea of what you look like.
Did you know that you have another picture of yourself? It’s not a shot snapped with a camera and downloaded to a computer or run to a photo shop for processing. It’s a picture you carry in your mind. This picture is your self-image.
Here’s a question to help you recognize the mental picture you have of yourself. Talk about this: What are the first three words that come to your mind that describe yourself?
Your self-image is incredibly important. It affects everything you do, including how well you get along with people.
If you have a totally negative self-image, you don’t think well of yourself. It’s not a happy way to be. If you have a negative self-image, you’re often pessimistic, lack confidence, cringe at what others think of you, worry about how you look or perform, wonder what people think of you, have a tough time accepting love, depend on possessions to make you happy, and talk negatively about yourself or others.
Wow. If that’s what a negative self-image does, maybe you want a perfectly positive self-image—a totally high view of yourself. But that’s not a good way to be either. You might think you’re the greatest because of the way you look or how smart you are or some other outstanding feature. You might put other people down because they don’t measure up to your greatness. And you might shatter into a bazillion pieces when you find out that the real you isn’t quite as perfect as the picture you carry in your mind.
So if those are both bad, what do you want?
God wants you to have a healthy self-image. He wants you to see yourself as he sees you—no more, no less. If you have a healthy self-image, you will think highly of yourself—but that’s because God thinks highly of you. You’ll also be willing to admit to—and work to change—your weaknesses. You’ll accept the reality that God created you in his own image as someone with infinite value and worth. And that’s a picture of yourself worth carrying around!
TALK: How do you see yourself today? Would you see yourself differently if you saw yourself through God’s eyes?
PRAY: God, build in each of us a healthy self-image. Help us to see ourselves as you see us.
ACT: Draw a picture of yourself that reflects who you think you are. Talk about your picture with your family or a friend.