September 23, 2011
I’m sitting in Poet’s which is a town square coffee shop in Cookeville, Tennessee. Tomorrow morning I will head to a camp called Valley View to speak to kids about self-image. For anyone who has known me for an extended period of time, I am probably one of the last people who I would ask to do something like this. It’s not that I have a poor self-image; it’s just that I don’t know how to successfully encourage others with their own images.
I could possibly be a coach or a drill sergeant but a positive, motivating influence over a teenager to ensure that he or she might feel better about whom they are is a stretch. That’s pretty funny coming from a guy who worked youth ministry the first 12 years of his “professional” ministry career.
Maybe … it’s more about self-worth? I don’t know. What I do know – when it comes to self-image – is that we were created in the image of God. “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us” (Gen. 1:26). God said that about this incredible creature called man that He was going to create to “reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground” (Gen. 1:26). The next verse says that He created man and woman in his image.
On the surface that could come across as trite but the reality is that we – Adam and Eve – were created with the blueprints of perfection! Perfection is in our DNA. For those of us who call Jesus Lord and Savior, we understand that the fall has tainted that perfection but I wholeheartedly believe that the blueprints are still somewhere deep down inside us all. It’s a matter of figuring out where they reside. It’s a matter of coming to grips that the architect and engineer who can read those prints is God.
When’s the last time you read Psalm 139?
Let me remind you of God’s brilliance and love for his creation with just the first six verses:
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!