Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." (NKJV)
Psalms 139:13-14 "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well." (NKJV)
This is a four part devotion. You can divide it up into four weeks or four days or read it all at once but I must warn you,
it is a lot to read at one sitting. I suggest breaking it up into at least a couple of readings to allow yourself time to think
about your own image. I also hope you will start on this page and read through to Image 4 as I believe they will be of the most
benefit in that order. If you have any questions or would like to talk over anything about these devotions, I am always open
to your comments. You can email me anytime by simply clicking on the mail button below.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Everyone puts forth an image that others see and either like or dislike. Everyone has a self-image that affects the way they
think and feel about themselves. Every one of us is moving toward a goal or more than one goal in life and on the way we are
giving others a glimpse into the type of person we are.
First you have to know where you're coming from before you can know where you are going. Others
only see the parts of you that you want to show them. I know people who have a work space that
suggest they border on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder but their family members think they are a
slob because their home is completely disorganized. The image you portray to others may not be
the person you are hiding inside. Do you treat you friends differently than you do your family
members? Why? There are some teachers who are very strict with there students, completely
dominating the classroom while at work, but when they get home they can't control their own children.
Their image changes once they walk through the door of
their house, their personality has a total breakdown. What is the reason for this?
I began smoking at an early age. It wasn’t my fault. My dad smoked, he left his cigarettes
lying around, easily accessible, I was tempted, he set a bad example – it was his fault I became
addicted to nicotine - right? He caused me to become a smoker. I only smoked for about
six years thank goodness, but I had to take part of
the responsibility for beginning smoking and all the responsibility for continuing to smoke.
I also learned to drink at an early age by following the example of those around me and making
bad choices. On the other hand, I started going to church without my family when I was in grade
school and was saved when I was twelve so I knew the choices I made later on were bad. I
had convinced myself that I couldn’t help it. That was just who I was. It was how I grew up,
who my family was, in my genes. It was my image! I had stopped going to church. My
family had moved across town, I had changed high schools and I had new friends. I didn’t need
church anymore. But, although I thought my image was formed, God wasn’t quite finished with me yet!
We will be discussing not only the image others have of us but also the image we have of ourselves and the image we would
like to portray. We
will talk about the image and the standard the world sets and the image of God. I’m hoping we
all come away from this one with a deeper look inside ourselves.
People have all kinds of disorders they are in denial of today. (We no longer call them
sins – they are disorders or diseases now – not our fault.) How are we going to
change our image if we can’t help who we are? How ever did we become who we are in the first
place? Just who are you? How did you get there?
Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”
One question at a time; let’s start with, “Just who are you?” I’m asking who you are to
yourself. So what I’d like for you to do next is sit down and write out just who
you think you are. If you have time, do this before you finish reading this devotion.
You can do this in list form or paragraph form or any way you like. I have plenty of time, I’m
not going anywhere! Just write a short description of
how you see yourself.
OK, what did you write? What you wrote down is what you believe or what you think in your heart
about yourself – it’s your ‘mental picture’ of yourself. The accumulation of all the smaller
mental pictures you have been taking all of your life put together in one big picture. And, how
you think about yourself usually determines how you are going to act every day. If you want to
act differently you must change the way you think about yourself. Was your list centered on things
you do, such as your job and who you are in relation to others: a mother, father, wife, secretary,
mechanic, student, etc. Did you like the things you wrote about yourself? Did you write down a lot of
negative things or did you include some positive traits? Do you think others would agree with the image
you have of yourself?
It takes all kinds of people to make up the world. Think how boring it would be if everyone had
the same personality. Some people are outspoken while others are quite. Some are meek while
others are bold. Some have pleasing personalities, some are boring and others are loud and brash.
I have friends I love to be with, hate to leave and can’t wait to see again. Then again, I have
family members I only see once or twice a year and sometimes I think that may be too often.
(If you are in my family, and you are reading this, I am not talking about you! Those
family members do not read my devotions!)
What makes people so different? Why are some so pleasing while others are cantankerous?
Have you ever had someone misjudge you? I have. I have had people tell me that when they first
met me they thought I was stuck-up or snobbish but after they became acquainted
with me they discovered that I was actually very friendly. The reason for this is, it has always
been hard for me to talk to people I don’t know so I’m a little reserved until I get to know you.
So perhaps the image I first put forth is one of reticence to some and of snobbery to others.
Still others may think I’m just quiet - (they will only think that until they get to know
me)! My patience runs low with people who put others down, make fun of others or deliberately do
or say things to hurt others. I lived with someone like this for nearly 20 years and recently I
found myself facing someone like this in my life again. I could not take being in the presence
of someone with this type of image. I eventually had to separate myself from this person.
Image doesn’t matter to some people. Some go through life with their head down so low they can’t
see anything except the ground while others have their nose up so high they can’t see anyone
else around them. Let me tell you right now, if you know me and I have ever done anything to
hurt you, it was not intentional. I hope I keep my nose level with the cross of Jesus and always
keep a compassionate heart toward others.
The first question I asked you was "Just who are you?" Now let me ask you another question:
“However did we become who we are in the first place?” This takes
us right back to the top where I said, “First we have to know where we came from before we can
know where we’re going.” We must realize how we came by the image we now carry around with us
and we also must realize that we will never be able to change that image if we can’t help who we