All people go through life with one of three questions looming over them and the decisions they’re faced with from day to day.
#1-How do other see me?
#2-How do I see myself?
#3-How does God see me?
For the follower of Christ, it’s simple because the answer is the same to all three questions: Jesus. When God looks at His children, He sees Jesus.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3 (ESV)
Therefore when we look at ourselves, we are supposed to see ourselves through His sacrifice and the new life that He has purchased for us. Obviously we don’t actually look or act or think like Jesus often times but He is our new identity and our goal is to be like Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
-2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
Because of that, we are meant to reflect Jesus to others. Our goal is never to display ourselves to the world but to put Him on display through our love for others and standing for what He taught.
You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
-Matthew 5:14 (NLT)
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
-1 John 2:6 (NIV)
For those without Jesus (and sometimes Christians too), the answer to the three big questions can vary drastically. The answer to question #1 often times dictates the answer to question #2. The answers comes from words spoken to them, friends they have, their appearance, likes on Facebook posts and tweets, affirmations, successes, etc…Sometimes people will translate their own view of themselves towards how they perceive others, and even God, may see them. This can be either out of insecurity or even pride. People like this think things like “I’m a failure” or on the other end of the spectrum, “I’m the best thing since sliced bread”. Because they have thoughts like those they assume that obviously others must see me that way too. In reality, neither of those statements are true. No one is hopeless and no one is the greatest thing this world has ever seen.
Point is, we cannot answer questions #1 or #2 accurately without first knowing the answer to #3. I work in a high school where I see teenagers trying to create an image for themselves that they hope will win them acceptance from others. They dress a certain way, listen to certain music, where their hair in a particular style, follow all the popular people on Instagram, want to drive the right cars, etc…believing this will get them “in” with who they want to be “in” with. That’s what it all boils down to isn’t it? We all want to be accepted, loved, safe, etc…When we don’t feel that way ourselves, we try to get those things from others. When that doesn’t work we feel hopeless and depressed.
For some, life will pass them by without even giving consideration to question #3 which is where we have to start. Think about it. Why do we go to an imperfect source of love (people and ourselves)? Why do wait so long to look at the One who invented love and paid the ultimate price so that we can be accepted despite our choices and failures and struggles in life? Why do we expect anyone (ourselves included) to give us the answers we need accept the One who created us?
Everyone else, start with Him. You are being called. You are loved. You can be forgiven and new and accepted. Start with Him today and live free.
It’s all about question #3. God bless!