A young lady stands facing the mirror and her eyes immediately fix upon the reflection of blemishes and defects that form an image of shame and disgust.  In this moment of visual affliction she is convinced that her value as a person has been cheapened by the presence of her imperfections. The potential for beauty has become prey to an imperfect reality.  Accusations now plague her mind like, “No one can ever love me,” “No one will ever want me,” or “I will never be attractive to anyone.”  She has determined that how she perceives herself is how others perceive her, and the imperfections that have disqualified her of beauty have denied her that status in the eyes of others as well.

For many, this is an all too familiar scenario of self-demoralization that knows no prejudice to gender, age or background.  We have either known someone who has become a victim of this mental assault or have ourselves suffered in the belly of this beast.  And though I am speaking in terms of our physical image and mental degradation, let me speak concerning the perception of our spiritual identity.  Many of us stand in the mirror of God’s word and our eyes immediately fixthemselves upon the weaknesses and wrongs of our life which form an image of shame and regret.  The accusations that ensue brand us as unworthy and unacceptable despite the unconditional love of the Father’s heart.

How does God see us?  Does He recognize us by our sin?  Does He reject us by our shame?  Are we disqualified in His eyes because of our weaknesses?  Though we are intellectually equipped to answer “No” to these and like questions we have gained a perception of ourselves that is engineered by fear, shame, guilt and regret.  We accurately say that God loves us, but we live under the burden of an image that He is disgusted by us.  We form the disconnect of God’s love for us because we hate what we see in ourselves.  What if God doesn’t see what you and I see?   What if God sees the potential of who we are meant to be in Him, and not what we have become without Him?  What if God sees a son or a daughter and not a sinner?  Am I then saying we are without sin, or that our weaknesses are merely an illusion formed out of low self-esteem?  Absolutely not!  The scripture is clear that “ALL” have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but what we have done is allowed our sin to disqualify us of God’s grace, mercy and love when in reality it is what qualifies us.  Our sin qualifies us for God’s grace, mercy and love that, once accepted and embraced, lifts the label of sin from us and begins to nurture the God potential He birthed within us.  So what does God see in you?  He sees what the mirror cannot reveal.  He sees a flower when others see a weed.  He sees a treasure when others see junk.  He sees a king or a queen when others see a slave.  He sees a son or a daughter when others see a sinner.  He sees what only love can see: the potential that love will empower to perfection.  So do not stand in the mirror interpreting yourself on the basis of your imperfections, but stand in His presence where the image of who you are is changed into the image of who you were meant to be.

1John 4:18; Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8; Romans 5:20-21; Romans 6:1-7; Romans 8:15-17

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