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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Mirror, Mirror ... What Do I See When I See Me?

By David W. Argue
April 11, 2010

The stunning snapshot showed a supermodel, a woman whose face had been featured more than 20 times on fashion magazine covers. To millions, her face spoke perfection … desired beauty.

But on this black and white picture, she made more than a dozen marks and phrases in bold, handwritten expressions:

Nose? “Not even.”

Eyebrows? “Not shaped right.”

Smile? “Crow’s feet and crooked.”

And on she went revealing how she really saw her face … and how she would adjust it.

What do you say to yourself and about yourself when it’s the middle of the night and you are awake with your thoughts? When you look into the mirror at the end of the day, what do you see when you see “me”?

Self-concept. It’s not just feeling good about what you look like or how you just did. That is a rating based on appearance or performance. Self-concept must go much deeper. Self-concept is actually central to life itself.

It has everything to do with having peace and joy inside … but more. It is central to having the confidence to step forward and minister to others. Self-confidence rooted in your relationship with Christ is critical in standing strong against the powers of darkness whose attacks against your soul are bent on keeping you forever looking inward and down.

What all of us need is not someone to do a surface job on our self-identity (“My, you look lovely today”). We need God to do an inside job on who we really are in His eyes. We need to attach our faith firmly to what He says, and then our identity can be secure indeed. We must learn to see ourselves through His eyes.

Agree with God’s view of you, and you will have a self-concept that is strong and reliable whether you are under the lights … or alone in the middle of the night.

Before continuing this article, please read the first two chapters of Ephesians. On the top of a piece of paper, write “Who I am … God’s view.” Jot down as many statements as you can find about how God sees you. There are at least 30 self-concept treasures in these chapters.

What is God’s view of you?

Ephesians was written to Christians living in the first century, but its message is to “the church … throughout all generations” (3:21, NIV), the “family” of God (3:15). So, if you have come to faith in Jesus Christ and are living in fellowship with Him, the statements apply to you.

Each statement below is written in personalized tense. For an extra faith lift, you can say each out loud. Post this in a prominent place where you can see this truth when you see yourself. These statements represent your identity as God sees you. And He has it right.

1. I am a saint … a “holy one” set apart for God’s purposes (1:1).

2. I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (1:3).

3. I am special, because God chose me to know Him before the world was created. His mind was set on me before I existed (1:4).

4. I have been chosen to be holy and blameless in God’s sight. I am saved by His divine action (1:4).

5. I am a member of His family (1:5). God has adopted me as His child. No matter what my earthly family may have been like, I am part of God’s family, by His choosing.

6. I am an object of God’s pleasure and eternal will. God likes me a lot (1:5; 2:4).

7. I am a person of God’s glorious grace, which brings Him praise (1:6).

8. I am redeemed by God — set free from all sin and slavery to it. My old sinful nature has been dealt a deathblow, and my life is headed toward victory (1:7).

9. I am on the inside track … because God has let me know the mystery of His will (1:9).

10. I am under the direction of Jesus Christ, Lord of the universe (1:10).

11. I trust Him, so I know that His will shall prevail in everything (1:11).

12. I have been marked, sealed, secured by the Holy Spirit for God’s purposes. I belong to God. I am His property with His destiny on my life (1:13).

13. I have been guaranteed a future inheritance, because the Holy Spirit is present within me (1:14).

14. I can move forward in faith (1:19), because God’s incomparably great power is working for me — today.

15. I am part of Christ’s living body on earth … the Church. I am in the family (1:22,23; 2:19).

16. I used to be living in death — in sins and transgressions — but that is not me any longer (2:1).

17. I used to be captive to the ways of this world — a dead-end street of disobedience — but that is not me any longer (2:2).

18. I used to live just for me — my cravings and my thoughts — but that is not me any longer (2:3).

19. I used to be an actual object of God’s impending wrath — but that is not me any longer (2:3).

20. I am actually alive with and in Christ. The Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is living in me (2:5).

21. I have been saved by God’s grace … not by my own efforts (2:5,9).

22. I have been raised up with Christ and share in His authority over the powers that seek still to rule this earth. I am sealed with Him in heavenly realms of spiritual strength (2:6; 1:20,21).

23. I have God-ordered good works to do, and thus I have a God-sized purpose in this life (2:10).

24. I am no longer separate from Christ — but one with Him (2:12).

25. I am no longer an excluded one, a foreigner … I am a citizen of heaven. So no matter how people may treat me, I am destined for heaven (2:12,13,19).

26. I am not separated from any others who are in Christ. We are one, so I am related to everyone who calls on His name (2:14).

27. I am not a person of hostility, ruled by anger, prejudice and ill will, but I am a person of peace through Christ’s provision for all who are in Him (2:14,17).

28. I have continual access to God through His Spirit (2:18).

29. I have great roots. My family tree includes the apostles, prophets and, most of all, Christ Jesus himself (2:20).

30. I am part of the building that God is fashioning … joined, rising and holy. I and the others in His Church are under construction, but what God is building through others and myself will rise and prevail (2:21).

This is who I really am. This is God’s declaration of my identity.

So, mirror, mirror …

When I look at myself, I see God’s grace and purpose. I see Christ’s glory and power. And I see the Spirit working. I see the real me … and I am made strong.

DAVID W. ARGUE is a former executive presbyter and an author, ministry coach and pastor-at-large living in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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