Is your self-image on the floor? You don’t like yourself and you’re certain others don’t either? You work yourself into a frenzy trying to be popular and liked, but you only fail. Is there any hope for you?
There’s good news for you. You’re not hopeless. There is a way to a healthy self-image but it’s not what you might think.
The pundits and psychologists will be happy to give you a list of rules (or a formula) for how to fix yourself. It goes like this:
2. eat right
3. only spend time with positive people
4. read or listen to inspirational teachers
5. do something for others
6. believe in yourself
That last one is particularly difficult if you don’t like yourself.
Have you seen a common theme with the all this?
It’s all about self.
Whenever you turn into yourself, you’ll have trouble. That’s because there are no answers there.
The rules don’t hold the answers either. Neither do the pundits and the therapists. They’ll either drive you to despair because you can’t live up to their recommendations, or to pride because you do live up to them and you feel superior to others. Either path is full of self.
The answer lies in the gospel.
The gospel doesn’t lie to you. It agrees with you. You are messed up. In fact you’re a sinner!
But the gospel doesn’t leave you there.
It tells you to repent and acknowledge that your whole life needs fixing. Why? Because it’s not God-centered.
Jesus came into the world to clean up the mess, die on the cross to pay for your sins, to fill you with his Spirit, and to take you to heaven.
What does this do for you?
It humbles you. It makes you grateful to God. Now you can love him and serve others out of that gratitude.
You still might be asking, “But when all my sins and failures come back to haunt me again, how can I maintain a healthy self-image?”
You don’t need to feel better about yourself!
You don’t need to feel worse about yourself!
What the gospel does is get you off of yourself!
You are a new creature in Christ, your life in now hid with him in heaven. That’s your new image.
You no longer have to live a self-centered life.
Jesus rescued you from that treadmill.
Go out and shout for joy!