Discovering Who God Made You
by Chip Ingram
Let me ask you a question: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
We look at ourselves in the mirror multiple times a day. There’s the mirror in the bathroom that says the makeup looks good. There are mirrors at the gym that tell us we’re making progress—or that we’ve got a long way to go.
But it’s not just physical mirrors that are powerful. We each have mirrors within us:
The mirror of disapproval from a spouse.
The mirror of a boss who says, “You don’t measure up.”
The mirror of the media that says if you don’t have a perfect body, you’re not acceptable.
These mirrors create a composite picture in our minds and tell us who we are.
I am no longer surprised by how radically people’s views of themselves differ from objective reality. The truth of the matter is, we all have warped mirrors.
When it comes to distorted mirrors, the most powerful influence in our lives is our parents and family of origin: our mom, dad, siblings, or lack thereof.
The second most powerful influence is authority figures, role models, and peers. People we look up to, whose opinions matter—sports heroes, artists, musicians, pop culture icons, and the friends we hang with—all constitute a myriad of mirrors that constantly shape our perception of who we are.
These influences can help us see our gifts, talents, and strengths and positively inspire us. None of our parents were perfect, but many of our best qualities and positive pictures of ourselves flow from them or from a teacher, coach, or role model.
Unfortunately, the same influences can be the source of warped mirrors resulting in:
- Feelings of insecurity, inferiority, or superiority
- A performance orientation (my value is only in what I can do)
- Withdrawal (avoiding risk at all costs as it brings rejection)
- Denial (refusing to look honestly within as it’s too painful)
- Compensation (overachieving to prove everyone wrong)
- Addictive behavior (medicating the pain)
- Unfulfilled longings for significance and acceptance
The root cause of many of our problems is an inaccurate view of ourselves.
What we need is a mirror that is trustworthy, a mirror that allows us to see ourselves as God does.
I have good news for you: There is a mirror that never lies. It’s objective and accurate, and it will tell you who you are, how much you matter, and why you’re here on earth.
Despite what you’ve heard, despite what’s been planted in your conscious and subconscious mind about who you are, what you’re worth, and what others think of you, God declares that in Christ you are wanted, valuable, secure, competent, beautiful, and called for a purpose only you can fulfill.
Adapted from Discover Your True Self by Chip Ingram, pages 14-18.
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