On a recent trip to the amazingly beautiful Glacier Park, we hiked up to one of the most popular destinations, Avalanche Lake. The parking lot near the trailhead is usually full by 8:30 a.m., so we took the shuttle from Apgar to the trailhead, where the trail starts out going through an impressive cedar grove with giant cedars several hundred years old. Then you head up along Avalanche Creek to the lake which lies at the base of the continental divide, with very impressive waterfalls cascading into the lake from the snow banks and glaciers above. Along the 2 1/2 mile trail we met literally hundreds of people. I was not only impressed by the beauty of God’s world, but also by the variety of people He makes!
Just think that of the billions of people God has made since His creation of Adam and Eve, there have been no two exactly alike. Even “identical” twins have differences, and not just their fingerprints! Each person born is a unique individual, specially made by our Designer and Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Psalmist David said: “It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves…For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…My frame was not hidden from Thee; when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth…” (Psa. 100:3; 139:13-16). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For we are His workmanship…” (Eph. 2:10).
So, do you like being you? Or do you wish God had made you somebody else? Then who would be you?! If you had your choice of being anyone in the world, who would you like to be? Are you content with the way God made you or do you think maybe He made a mistake in how He made you, or the parents He gave you, or the country you were born in, or the physical limitations that you have? Well, as a little boy once said, “I know I’m somebody, ‘cause God don’t make no junk!!” Everybody is somebody, unless, of course, they decide they aren’t! Although there are no two of us alike, one thing we all have in common—we are made in the image of God and have value because He made us (Gen. 1:26,27). (And by the way, that includes every pre-born child!)
A person’s attitude toward himself has a profound influence on his attitude toward God, his family, his friends, his future, and many other significant areas of his life. Do you ever feel like a real dummy, like you can’t do anything right? Did you ever have anyone (like your parents) tell you that? Do you sometimes feel like a loser, a failure, that your life has no real value? Many do. But, we’re going to have to live with ourselves and who we are the rest of our lives, so we’d best learn to “get along” and make the most of it!
We develop a “self-image” (what we think about ourselves) in one of two ways: Either we accept what others say about our appearance, abilities, parentage and environment (which results in a negative self image of inferiority, insecurity and rejection); or, we accept what God says about us (which results in a right self-image). The consequences of developing a negative self-image are an inability to trust God (If I don’t like how He made me, how can I trust Him with anything?), a resistance against authority, a hindrance to genuine friendships, diversion from true achievement, and an overemphasis on material things.
So, how do I develop a proper estimate of myself?
1) By accepting and rejoicing in the fact that I am made in the image of God, and He made me just the
way He wanted me to be—and made no mistake (Psa. 18:30).
2) By accepting and rejoicing in the fact that I am of great value to God. I am His “workmanship” (Eph.
2:10). “Just because He made me, He loves me.” He loved me enough to die for me (Jn. 3:16; Ro.
5:9; I Jn. 4:9,10). I mean more to God than all of His physical universe (Psa. 8). I am bought at high
cost and forgiven (I Pet. 1:18,19).
3) By realizing that God is not finished with me yet (I Jn. 3:2,3). My inner person is being developed (II
Cor. 4:16-18), while my body is awaiting redemption and glorification (Ro. 8:23; Phil. 3:20). God will
never give up on me or forsake me (Heb. 13:5). He accepts me as I am, but will not leave me that
way. He is working to conform me to His image (Ro. 8:28-30).
4) By accepting any “defects” as God’s special mark of ownership, and using them to develop inner
qualities of Christ-likeness (I Cor. 6:20).
I think it would be appropriate for each of us to pause right here and pray: “Thank you God for making me special, like no one else who has ever lived or will live. Thank you for making me in Your image, with a free will to chose to love You and live for You. Thank you Lord for giving my the limitations of _______________ so that I would be more dependent upon You and realize that Your grace is sufficient (cf II Cor. 12:7-10). And help me, Lord, to be the be the best “me” I can be for You. Amen!”