Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Year, New Habits, New You

Ideas are abstract. Images are concrete.
Ideas tend to lack feeling. Powerful emotions accompany images.

As we face a new year the image you have of who you will be (physically, emotionally, financially, vocationally, etc…) plays a dominant role in you actually becoming. What image do you have of yourself? I think its okay to share this… I have a sister who is now in heaven. While she was still alive it became evident, in particular toward the latter part of her life that she struggled with her self-image. One time in the course of talking about it she was asked to identify a perspective of herself. The image she offered was one of a small, obscure, fragile plant. In many respects, in spite of all the support around her, she was never really able to get beyond that view of herself. I know for certain that that image for my sis was laden with feelings. When she thought of it, it made her feel a particular way. Unfortunately those feelings had to do with vulnerability and weakness. I'll never forget that because I loved her and wanted to help her change. If she could have ever begun to change her image of herself it would have made a huge difference in her life. (By the way - being vulnerable and weak are sometimes very good things images to have. But that's for a different discussion I think.)

So, one of the most important images we have is the one we have of ourselves. But an even more important image is the image we have of God. A.W. Tozer said, “A right conception of God is to practical Christian living, what the foundation is to the temple; where it is inadequate or out of plumb the whole structure must sooner or later collapse.” (Of course leave it to C.S. Lewis to top Tozer cuz he said the most important perspective of all is not the one we have of ourselves or have of God but the one God has of us!)

All right… so what is the image you have of yourselves? How bout of God? Images are important. They evoke feelings. Now consider the image that Jesus left us with… the cross. It’s likely the all-time most powerful image in human history. I think He knows something about images. *


* Oh and what was Jesus' perspective of God? How bout what He said as recorded by Matthew, "With God everything is possible."

(For more and much better thought along these lines check out Dallas Willard’s article called ‘Transformation of the Mind” at


jtc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jtc said...

Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change ... I'm not sure where I read that or who said that to me but that was such a key component in healing the way that I looked at myself and life in general. It is amazing how powerful our minds are and at the same time how extremely toxic they can be... and how if one is not careful you can lay fertile ground for the seeds of fear, doubt and self rejection (hell) all because of the power of our minds. I was finally able to see that there is no clearer image than the image that God had of me... to see me for who I am not who I thought I was.

Also thanks for sharing a little about your sister.

The ache I feel inside
Is where the life has left your eyes
I'm alone for our last goodbye
But you're free

SF~ yesterdays

jonathan foster said...

'... to see me for who i am, not who i thought i was' i may have to borrow that line for a song...
kinda reminds me of Romans 12 where Paul says, "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."

nice. thanks.