Self-image has been near my heart for quite some time. And this blog is not something to just share with you. But it’s something that I have been living. I believe the best information we can share is when God teaches us lessons. And then interwove them into our lives to share with someone else. We have to be a lesson for someone else to learn from. These 4 secrets to self-image that everyone misses can change your life.
Years ago, I took my 5-year-old grandson to the doctor’s office. Upon sitting for a while, my grandson became anxious and ready to go. So I grabbed a magazine from the table and tore a page from it and gave him the ripped up pieces that were in several parts.
On the front of the ripped page, there was a picture of a map of the world. So, my grandson worked for a few minutes putting it together. Yes, I had his attention. And was hoping it was going to keep him occupied for a while.
In about 5 minutes, my grandson jumped up and said… “GG Love, I did it. I did it! Look! 👀 I put it together!” I was so surprised that he was able to get it done so quickly. So, I took the picture from him and looked at the front of the page to make sure the map of the world was intact. And then I asked him–how did you do that so quickly?
He looked at me and chuckled saying, “GG Love, it was easy. See, on the back of the map was a picture of a man and his face. So, all I had to do was put the man together then the world came together. You get it, GG Love?” (That emoji with the eyes rolling up 🙄 ). His answer was great. It didn’t take him anytime to put that together and I didn’t have another plan to keep him occupied).
Wow! There’s a great revelation in this. It seems like things in our lives come together when we come together inside. But when we’re broken on the inside, it seems like we can’t find a way for things to come together on the outside.
I just taught this during “The Book Club” last month. “The Lie: I’m Not Good Enough.”
When we face challenges and difficulties in our lives, we question God because we don’t understand where is taking us on our journey. Then, we question what God has placed inside of us. The gifts, talents, and the skills that we have. And let’s not dare discuss comparison because we’ll begin to think we are not enough.
Those disappointments could have come through not getting the promotion, the loan, or not getting in college or a failed relationship. So a recording starts to play in your mind over and over again. That tells you–you don’t have what it takes. You’re not good enough. And that you can’t do it.
However, I’m here to remind you that that is not true.
We feel this way because we start looking at the lives of other people. We hear their testaments and we appear we are happy for them while wondering and asking God. Why can’t that happen to me?
Then, we question ourselves why we couldn’t be more like them or act like them. So we battle with trying to escape ourselves because we don’t like the self-image we believe others see. Or, what we perceived.
Is it okay for me to say that we are in a God-class and we have God’s DNA on the inside of us?
See, many of us sit in private prisons and have yet to realize what we have been given on the inside of us. We have the keys to our private prison. But we don’t know how to build the self-image so we can experience victory on the outside of us.
Ephesians 2:10 says it perfectly. For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
Pause! See, you deserve the good life.
However, before we get to the good life. We have to believe that we are God’s work of art. We’re not just something that God created and put aside. We have been specifically created with a purpose in mind.
Think about this.
Have you ever ordered something online and the picture and the price were just right? No one wants to pay full retail price, plus 20% and shipping too. So, in our minds, we’re thinking the right price is always the lowest price.
Then, upon getting the item for the lowest price. You go back to the picture and compare what you have in hand because the quality of the product is just not there.
So is it fair to blame the product for subpar quality or should we blame the manufacturer?
Moreover, I have shopped with some reputable manufacturers. And they pride themselves on protecting the quality of their merchandise to ensure you are satisfied. So they provide you with a warranty to help you feel safe about your purchase. But they also know that their reputation is on the line.
With you, God’s reputation is on the line. You are God’s work of art created for His glory and good works. So stop and go look in the mirror. You are not a face of many. But one of a kind.
Self-image and deception start with something that you already know that is factual. So Satan uses our perspective to make us feel like we are missing out because he wants to make us feel like we don’t have what it takes. Or, that our gift is not enough.
For instance, I am a strong vocal person. I know how to speak up for myself and I can be quite opinionated when it comes to things I like and dislike. However, over time, some have told me. You’re too bossy and demanding. People don’t want to be around a bossy person all the time. You’re too strong and people don’t like that and they’ll become jealous. You just need to calm down. So people can start liking you.
My question is–Does self-image become more about people liking us or merely getting along with them?
Can you leave me a comment? I would love to know.
So, that inner voice started to battle with me. Moreover, these kinds of statements were made over and over until my self-image forced me to second guess myself. In situations where I needed to share my opinion or be vocal, I would literally freeze up because I thought I was too demanding and bossy. And I need to tone down who I am. Or, someone would say, “That’s why you don’t have any friends because nobody can stand you being so bossy and demanding.”
However, those words were used when people wanted to tell me they didn’t like me or to make me shut-up.
Nevertheless, instead of me thinking, this is the way that God made me and I have great leadership qualities that have sustained me and allowed me to advance in so many areas.
But I battled with my self-image forcing me to change who I am because it appears it’s not acceptable by everyone else. Or, even myself.
Subsequently, I’ve learned to have faith in God’s creation. He made me with these qualities.
The biggest lie that self-image will try to tell you is that you are not enough – Valerie Tatum
Therefore, self-image will never remain a secret, only affecting you. You shouldn’t fooled by this. This is not true. Your self-image is not only to make you feel bad about yourself. But to disobey God and to abort the mission you came to earth to get done.
“You can’t do what God has called you to do without becoming who God has called you to be” –Valerie Tatum
So is it okay to say that our ability is buried in our mentality? We can’t rise to be who we think we should be?
I may not have the self-image that others think I should have. But I am exactly what is needed in the mind of God. I’m exactly what this world, my job, my family, and marriage needs.
I just had to wake up and realize that.
I was too busy trying to draft people on my team that were not assigned to me. Everyone was not designed to be a part of my audience. I’ve been designed to have an audience that needs to hear the sound of my gift. And when they hear the sound of my gift, I’m exactly what they need.
Everybody is not my audience. So, I had to stop allowing the opinions of others to drive me to change who God called me to be.
“Comparison is the thief of joy!” –Theodore Roosevelt
The quickest way to kill something is to compare it to something else.
In conclusion, God created you to be exactly who He wants you to be and nothing else. We defeat self-image by having confidence in God’s creation.
4 Secrets We Miss to Help Build Our Self-Image
1. When I am weak, Then, I am Strong: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
We’re not defeated by our weak. When we are surrounded with trouble on every side because of our love for Christ we are made yet stronger. Your weakness becomes a portal to God’s power. Our weakness cannot defeat us. The deception of the enemy is to get us to focus more on our ability than God’s ability.
Think about it. That’s where anxiety comes. If you know that God has chosen you for such a time as this and He has custom crafted you for something, you will become anxious when you forget about His ability and fall back into your ability. I did every time. Every time that happened to me. I could make a case for being anxious.
2. Be Content with Who You Are and What You Are About: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
You have not been born on earth to self-assign your own purpose. God placed those gifts on the inside of you. Your purpose stays the same whether people like it or not. In short, no one can comment on your purpose. Therefore, you have to set boundaries so that people can’t treat you any way that they want to. You can’t let people talk to you any kind of way. I mean; I am long-suffering. But I refuse to endure 20 minutes of that. So I had to set boundaries for myself and with myself to keep me safe.
So is it okay to say… If you did not self-assign your purpose then it’s not okay to change your purpose or run from it.
3. Rewrite the Script. Create a New Reality: Hebrews 11:3
We can speak things over our lives and families. We have to meditate on the word of God. It’s not going to change you, but yourself over time.
4. Go! 2 Corinthians 5:7
We walk by faith and not by sight. So now you have to walk and sometimes it doesn’t feel good in our own natural ability. Remember, we are not talking about your ability, but God’s ability. Peter didn’t have the ability to walk on water. However, once he called on God’s ability. He did it by faith. No questions asked.
In conclusion, as you’re walking through your self-image journey, you’re going to have to Go, Do and Say something that you may not be able to do in your own strength. That’s the turning point.
For me, I left a career that paid me well and I had surrounded myself with so many other safety nets. The thought of leaving scared me daily. But each day God helped me to see and understand there was a greater calling on my life for His people.
Yes, the enemy’s job is to keep you fearful when working toward your purpose. Remember, greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. God has great and precious promises waiting for you.
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