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Self-Image

Self-image is how we view ourselves and this could be regarding different aspects like physical appearance, personality, status etc. The Cambridge dictionary defines self-image as “the way a person feels about his or her personalityachievements and value to society.” It is clear from that definition that our self-image is influenced by how we believe other people see us or even how we measure up to our own standards.

Self-image has an effect on how we feel and communicate. Having a positive self-image means we can confidently own up our mistakes and recognise where we have gone wrong being confident that we can improve. A negative self-image can get in a way of our happiness. We can’t love ourselves and this is an issue. How can we love others if we can’t love ourselves? I hope at the end of this blog we all will leave with a positive self-image or at least working at redefining our self-image for the better.

In Luke 19:1-10, we read of a man named Zacchaeus. He’s name means pure or innocent. He was a chief tax collector and he was rich. We are already getting a glimpse of his identity. Tax collectors were detested because of their perceived greed. They accumulated personal wealth by demanding tax payments in excess and they kept the difference. Meanwhile Zacchaeus was the CHIEF. His character wasn’t close to the meaning of his name. He was far from innocent. I can’t imagine how much he was disliked. He was a rich man but he didn’t have it all. Deep within, he must have felt empty.

During one of John the Baptist’s teachings, Zacchaeus heard the good news of repentance and instruction to the tax collectors in Luke 3:13. His mind must have been impressed. He had heard about Jesus Christ and he longed to see Him. When Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was passing through Jericho, he was determined to see Him. Him whose words had brought hope to his heart. Zacchaeus was short however and because of the crowds, he couldn’t see Jesus.

Zacchaeus had such a desire in his heart that he was determined to see Jesus and so he ran and climbed up into a tree to see Him. One could think to themselves how can a rich man climb a tree but we all know what happens when you value an opportunity. You will not let it slip by.  Jesus heard the unuttered desire of Zacchaeus to see Him and so He calls him to come down “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” What a privilege!!! Zacchaeus joyfully receives the Lord and of course as always, people have something to say. They had an opinion about Zacchaeus’ self-image, how he was a sinner. This however did not get in Zacchaeus’ way. He then publicly announces and tells Jesus what he’s been doing as compensation to those he has wronged. He had recognised that he was a sinner but in experiencing the love of God he had manifested compassion to the poor and the suffering. Jesus then redefines his self-image. “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham”. Not only was Zacchaeus blessed but his household. Again, we are also reminded that Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

Many times, we find that our self-image is defined by society. It could be our physical appearances, our social status or even our personalities. We find ourselves working so hard to have a positive self-image based on society views only to find that what is pleasing to society has now changed and the cycle is repeated. Do we ever get there? We are sometimes held back because of feelings of shame, embarrassment or even judgement. You might be like Zacchaeus because you have come to know God you feel like the worst of all sinners but in this case, we see that there’s no one lost beyond saving. We only need to accept Jesus’ invitation. The people around you could be using your past against you but for sure the righteousness of Jesus Christ is a principle of life that transforms our character and controls our conduct. All we need is faith as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” If it wasn’t for Zacchaeus’ faith, would he have climbed up into the tree? Absolutely not! Because of his faith he was called the son of Abraham. “Know then that it is those of faith who are sons of Abraham.” -Galatians 3:7

We live in a strongly opinionated society but people’s opinions rarely matter. They shouldn’t stop you from seeing your self-image as a child of God. Your past too shouldn’t hinder you from allowing Jesus to work in your life. God has told us in the new covenant “I will remember their sins no more” – Hebrews 8:12. If you get a new life in Jesus, you shouldn’t dwell on your past mistakes. “God is not man, that He should lie.” – Numbers 23:19. 

When you have the earnest desire for God to change your life, He will not pass you by. You will be amazed at what the Lord can do. I encourage us to redefine our self-image to a constant one “Children of the Most High God” as we know God never changes unlike societal preferences that do.  

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Claire Martha

August 7, 2021

Thank you Laurie for sharing with us♥️ Your content is very helpful in my faith journey♥️

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thecheeryhaven

August 7, 2021

Thanks Claire taking time our of your day. I really appreciate you.
God bless you sis❤

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evidencemutumbu

August 21, 2021

One could think to themselves how can a rich man climb a tree but we all know what happens when you value an opportunity.

I like this point .Nomatter where we are in life but opportunities to change the narrative are always before us, but our attitudes to grab them differentiates us .I like the revelation and how you brought out the point of self image

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thecheeryhaven

August 21, 2021

Wow! Indeed our attitude differentiates us 💯

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evidencemutumbu

August 21, 2021

This is powerful!

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thecheeryhaven

August 21, 2021

Amen! Thank you for tuning in.

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Joshua Kats

October 2, 2021

I really loved it. The fact that Zacheus’ name didn’t match up with his viewed personality, is really something I had never thought about.

Much as people might perceive us in a certain way, what really is important, is what Christ is ready to mould us into. And if we grab the opportunity, the results will be studied throughout all eternity.

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The Write Stylus

December 18, 2021

“We live in a strongly opinionated society but people’s opinions rarely matter. They shouldn’t stop you from seeing your self-image as a child of God.”—Yes. And when we realize this, we can live our best lives.

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Edwin Agaba

August 3, 2022

Thanks Lauretta for the inspiration. I love this lesson that regardless of our sinful past, all we need is believe and we will be counted as children of Abraham, children of faith.

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Lauretta

September 8, 2022

Amen! Thanks for your time Edwin.

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