How Do You See Yourself?
By Rodney W. Francis
(This message, though put together for ministry amongst women, can easily be adapted for men and/or mixed audiences).
In Christian life and ministry there are three important areas that it is good to challenge yourself on:
How God sees you.
How you see you.
How others see you.
In this message we shall look at these three areas in order to help you improve your impact as a Christian woman ... to help you raise the level of your effectiveness in the Kingdom of God and in life generally.
1. HOW DOES GOD SEE YOU?
God sees you as being very special to Him.
He believes in you! He has invested Himself in you through His finished work at Calvary. He has made you to be you -- a very unique person with qualities and possibilities that only you can fulfil. Be encouraged to accept yourself as He accepts you and rise to be the woman He has called you to be!
"The king's daughter is all glorious (speaks of "magnificence") within: her clothing is of wrought gold" (Psalm 45:13, KJV).
YOU are daughters of the King, held in honour and esteem by the Lord Who has redeemed you for Himself. His desire is to so work in your life and character that you can experience and fulfil the true purpose for which you were created. You were created by God Himself! And He never made anything bad, useless or unworthy. None of us had any say in being born, what sex we are, what our looks are with regard to the size of our ears, noses, etc. We need to accept the fact that God created us beautiful and full of potential to be very successful in life to the glory of His name.
The Bible holds high the woman who is:
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies" (Proverbs 31:10).
A virtuous woman is one who "practices moral excellence or righteousness; prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance; faith, hope and love" (Collins Dict.);
* She has "good quality, excellence of any kind" (Bullinger's);
* She has "strength of mind or body" (Young's).
"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband" (Proverbs 12:4).
Ruth was known as a virtuous woman:
"And now, my daughter, fear not: I will do to you all that you require: for all the city of my people do know that you are a virtuous ("a force, strength, valour, virtue" - Strong's) woman" (Ruth3:11).
Ruth's virtuosity became known throughout the whole city! What an amazing woman, but, better still, what a tremendous example of what women can attain to when they build their lives, hearts and minds on being virtuous.
"A gracious ("a free and spontaneous willingness to bestow good through kindness and compassion; to show favour" - Wilson's) woman retains honour ("personal integrity, glory, great respect, esteem" - Collins)"(Proverbs 11:16).
How wonderful to be around a gracious woman!
"Every wise woman builds her house: but the foolish one plucks ("to break or throw down") it down with her hands" (Proverbs 14:1).
Wisdom has to do with skill. Wisdom builds; it applies itself to do well and to do better. Wisdom is a key to success.
"A woman that fears ("gives reverence to") the Lord, she shall be praised ("shine, to celebrate,commend, be worthy of praise" - Strong's)" (Proverbs 31:30).
The Bible speaks of Beautiful Women:
Sarah (Genesis 12:11, 14): She was 65 at the time!
Rebekah (Genesis 24:15-16; Genesis 26:7): "She was very attractive" (TLB).
Rachel (Genesis 29:17): "beautiful and well favoured ("a handsome shape - Strong's)"(KJV). Rachel was "shapely and in every way a beauty" (TLB).
Abigail (1 Samuel 25:3): "she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance ("outline, figure or appearance" - Strong's)" (KJV);
"she was an intelligent and beautiful woman" (NIV);
"a beautiful and very intelligent woman" (TLB).
The Three Daughters of Job (Job 42:15): "Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters..." (NIV);
"and in all the land there were no other girls as lovely as the daughters of Job..."(TLB).
Accept the fact that God sees you as a beautiful person. He made you beautiful! You are beautiful! Enjoy being beautiful because you know you're beautiful. And don't let anyone convince you otherwise -- especially yourself!
2. HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF?
Your effectiveness as a Christian woman depends very much on the opinion you have of yourself. I would like to challenge you with the following thought-provoking questions on how you seeyourself:
Do You See Yourself as:
A failure? or A success?
Drab ("dull, dingy, shabby, dreary, cheerless")? or Unique?
If you honestly find yourself identifying with some of the negatives of these questions, then I encourage you to find a trusted friend and share these negatives with them. Then be open and frank enough to invite them to help you to address those negatives so you can become a much more positive person. Negatives are "life-drainers"; they sap our energy and take away the inspiration and motivation for living life with a capital L!
3. HOW DO OTHERS SEE YOU? (Do you know?)
We must remember that we do not live our lives simply to please or gain the approval of others, but it is very important to discover if we are saying or doing things that cause others "to take a wide berth" around us. People, generally, do not enjoy being in the company of a negative person and will make all kinds of excuses to avoid being there. Rejection breeds negativity and negativity breeds rejection -- it's a vicious cycle! Christians do not need to be negative people. The whole message of the Scriptures is that we are "conquerors, overcomers, positive life-givers" in a sick and dying world. We are part of the answer, not part of the problem! The development of our character in Christian service is vital if our testimony is going to carry an impact -- and you were created by God to be an impact!
How others see us -- and re-act to us -- often is determined by how we see ourself and by whether we communicate a positive or negative image. So, again, ask yourself the questions:
Difficult to get on with? or Easy to get on with?
Unfriendly? or Friendly?
Moody? or Well-controlled?
Negative? or Positive?
Critical? or An Exhorter/Encourager?
A Gossip? or One who can keep confidences?
Dominating? or Submissive?
Proud? or Humble?
One who displays Outward show? or Inward grace?
I trust that you will rise to the challenge that these three major areas give us, and that you will be able to answer positively to how:
God sees you.
How you see you, and
How others see you.
The way you respond to these three areas will determine the quality of life you will enjoy (or not enjoy)in the days and years ahead.
God bless you!