Last Sunday our Epistle lesson in Church was another one of my favorites, from 2 Corinthians 5: 16-20. Check out verses 16-17 especially;
16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!I think that this is a wonderful passage for anyone who is feeling like they aren't worth much or are struggling with self image problems. Stop looking at yourself in the mirror and try seeing yourself from God's point of view. You were created in His image!
Both as a Dad and as a cheerleading coach, I try to impress on my daughters and students that nothing makes you so attractive as two things, confidence and a smile. Poise, being comfortable with who you are, and having a positive attitude are more important than height or weight or complexion. People are drawn to people who respect themselves and others.
1 Peter 3:3-5 says "3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.Knowing that God loves you and trusting in Him, gives you both an inner calm and confidence and an enthusiasm about serving Him (which entails showing kindness and compassion toward others). That's what is really meant by inner beauty.
Sure, this all sounds like girly advice about looking pretty, but especially in 2 Peter, God is talking to guys too. You ARE worth something. You have value, meaning and purpose. Read 2 Corinthians 5:18-20,
18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.God didn't create you for no reason. He didn't create you in His image for no reason. God loves us so that we can love others. He want's a relationship with us, that's why He sent His Son, Jesus. And once we're reconciled to Him, He can use us to reflect His love, mercy, forgiveness, grace and acceptance to others who need it.
How can you hate yourself when God made you to be His instrument?
One of the best songs in the Dreamworks movie, 'The Prince of Egypt' occurs when Moses is feeling rejected, depressed and despondent. He's discovered that he's not really an Egyptian, in fact his adoptive family despises his biological race. He's had to become a fugitive because of killing an Egyptian who was being cruel to a Jewish slave, yet his own people, the children of Israel don't accept him because he's a spoiled rich kid, out of touch with his roots. Sounds like a lot of mulit-racial kids today.
His father-in-law Jethro, priest of Midian, sings him this song. What an awesome thing for parents to sing to their children. What an important lesson for all of us, whenever we're felling bad about ourselves. Who needs self-esteem when you have God's esteem?
'Through Heaven's Eyes'
from The Prince of Egypt
with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Visit the composer's website to read his own comments about the song.
A single thread in a tapestry-
Though its color brightly shine-
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design.
And the stone that sits on the very top
Of the mountain's mighty face-
Does it think it's more important
Than the stones that form the base?
So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life,
Look at your life through heaven's eyes.
A lake of gold in the desert sand
Is less than a cool fresh spring-
And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king.
If a man lose ev'rything he owns,
Has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
Of a new and brighter birth?
So how do you measure the worth of a man-
In wealth or strength or size?
In how much he gained or how much he gave?
The answer will come,
The answer will come to him who tries
To look at his life through heaven's eyes.
And that's why we share all we have with you,
Though there's little to be found.
When all you've got is nothing,
There's a lot to go around.
No life can escape being blown about
By the winds of change and chance,
And though you never know all the steps,
You must learn to join the dance-
You must learn to join the dance.
So how do you judge what a man is worth?
By what he builds or buys?
You can never see with your eyes on earth-
Look through heaven's eyes.
Look at your life,
Look at your life,
Look at your life through heaven's eyes!