Your Inner Self-Portrait
Bible Reading: Jeremiah 31:3
I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3
Talk about it: What’s your all-time ugliest, least favorite, most hideous picture of yourself? Can you describe it? Or go find it? Now explain: Why do you hate it so much?
There’s a good chance your most hated picture is one of your school pictures, the photo in your yearbook, or the photo on your driver’s license. You might sooner be thrown into a pit of spiders than have that photo flashed in front of a pack of people.
You might not realize that school and Department of Motor Vehicle photographers get paid to capture you at your worst. Really. Well, maybe not. But grab hold of this good news: That picture doesn’t even come close to showing what you really look like.
Here’s why. Did you know you carry another personal identification photo, one far more important than any portrait in your pocket? It’s the picture of yourself you keep in your mind-your concept of who you are. Like your ID photo, your inner self-portrait might or might not accurately represent the real you. But unlike that ID photo, it’s the only one you have.
Take Alex, for example. He grew up in a tough home. The big message he heard growing up was, “Alex, you can’t do anything right.” Was that an accurate picture of Alex? No! It’s true, there are some things Alex doesn’t do well, just as with any of us. But to say he can’t do anything right is nasty. Yet that message was burned onto the film of Alex’s heart, and that’s the distorted self-portrait he carries wherever he goes.
On the other hand, the picture Theresa has of herself is suitable for framing. She grew up in a home where she was cherished and nurtured by loving Christian parents. She learned as a kid that she was God’s unique, dearly loved creation. As a result, she’s growing up confident—but not cocky—about her worth to God and to others.
Your goal isn’t to become Theresa. It’s to get God’s true view of you—a view that captures your real identity as God’s child.
No matter how you see yourself right now, here’s one truth that can start to rearrange your self-portrait into a truer picture of who you are. Jeremiah 31:3 says you are loved by God—eternally. That’s right. God is committed to love you forever. Try that verse on personally: “God loves me eternally, and in his love he draws me to be close to him.” Don’t you like that picture?
TALK: How does God’s view of you capture who you really are?
PRAY: God, help us get your true view of us.
ACT: Today, remind your family members that they can find out who they really are by inserting each of their names in Jeremiah 31:3.