As we continue in this series, I pray the kind Lord increases your reasoning and understanding of this subject in Jesus name, Amen. The mind of man is a battle ground! If you can win the battle there, then you can win the battle of faith. This battle is the most difficult warfare everyone has got to face. The mind has lots of battles arrayed against it. Every battle of life takes its root in the mind. The quest to win and the ineptitude to lose is settled in the mind too. The forces that rule the earth come from the mind. There is the mind of God, the mind of satan and the mind of the world. Whichever of these you possess determines your approach and your wins or loses. Out there, you are taught to think like the world; but in the church, you are taught to think like God.
Pro 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
If you are a Christian, you don’t think like the world. The mind is the place where your life is steered. How your life turns out is a major determinant of your thinking. The rich fool was adjudged a fool because of his thinking, Luke 12:15-21. God judges and responds to a man based on how he thinks. He looks inside before looking outside.
What I intend to achieve through this subject is to affect your thinking by bringing to you the importance of thinking. Largely, our thinking is potentially harmful. It can lead to self-destruct. This is why we need a paradigm shift in our thinking. May the Lord help us in Jesus name, Amen.
PROPER SELF IMAGE
This is seeing oneself properly. The way you see yourself is crucial to your faith, success and behaviour. Self-image is foundational to life. Many people have a wrong perception of self. You need to build a proper self-image. God wants us to have a proper sense of self-esteem. The way you see yourself affects the way you see God. Improper self-image tends to generate superiority or inferiority complex. Superiority complex-disregard for God or other people, and inferiority complex-disregard for self. The way you see yourself determines your relationship with God, the devil and other people. There are three categories of people vis-à-vis thinking and self-image:
- Too highly: they think more highly of themselves.
- Too lowly: they think too low of themselves.
- Non-thinkers / numskulls: these do not think at all or think about other things except themselves.
THOUGHT ON PROPER SELF IMAGE
You live life the way you see life. The way you see life is the way you see yourself, and also, the way you see yourself is the way you see life. God is consciously working to help us see life the way He sees it. He wants us to have a proper self-esteem through the way He sees us. God used very powerful adjectives to describe us in the scriptures, so we can see ourselves in the proper perspective:
- He called us Peculiar Treasure, Exo 19:6.
- He called us Peculiar People, Titus 2:14.
- He called us Holy Nation 1 Peter 2:9.
- He called us Salt of the Earth, Matt 5:13.
- He called us the Light of the World, Matt 5:14.
How do you really see yourself? Upon this premise, I have these three thoughts:
- A man that does not have vision does not need faith. Pro 29:18.
- Your self-image determines your vision, and your vision determines your faith.
- A proper self-image keeps you from a low lifestyle, e.g., a life of sin, small talk, inferiority, etc.
Num 13:25-33– 25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.
26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.
27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, the land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Because they saw themselves as grasshoppers in their own estimation, so they believed they were in the enemies minds. How could they have known this, except for the way they thought? Whatever you decide or conclude you cannot do or become is likened to the reference above; that is, estimating the problem above self–this is the grasshopper mentality!
Exo 3:6-14– 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
12 And he said, certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
Friends, mind your speech, for they reflect your thought. Here, Moses exhibited a low self-esteem. Majority of humans start from low self-esteem. Even the average of mankind always feels inadequate. For instance, you will hear in the language an average man, words like: I am not tall enough, I am not beautiful, I am from a poor family, I am not a graduate, etc. These words are negative, a sense of inadequacy, and do place a limit bar on self.
REASONS FOR LOW SELF-ESTEEM
- The society has cast a mole for all of us using all kinds of standards. The society has built all kinds of mechanism to make you inadequate.
- Our past experiences or other people’s experience; e.g., failure.
- Past sins. The devil capitalizes on this to make you feel low. Psa 22:6.
- Wrong definition of self-esteem, therefore leading to low self-esteem. Some people adduce self-esteem to pride, this defines it wrongly.
There are two extremes of self-image – low self-esteem and pride.
– Low self-esteem is:
- The breeding ground for self-pity. Self-pity is demonic and has the tendency to reduce self.
- The breeding ground for shame.
- The breeding ground for blaming oneself.
- The breeding ground for self-denial and a sense of undeserved favour.
- The breeding ground for self-rejection and self-hatred.
Stop rejecting yourself when God has accepted you. Eighty-five percent (85%) of our problems stem from how we feel about ourselves. Every successful person has a story of rejection, failure, fallen down, but also, of rising again. Stop looking at yourself as nobody. Your salvation experience in Christ Jesus has made all the difference. The gospel is the power of God unto every problem that man faces. That is, it is in Jesus that we have the summation of God’s solution to all our problems. Don’t allow anybody to pull you down by their judgment.
Rom 12:3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. (MSG Bible).
Here, the bible says don’t think too highly; inversely, the counter means to think soberly. Both low self-esteem people and the proud ones think. The balance therefore between these two extremes is to think soberly. Paul claimed to think soberly is think according to what God is and what He brings to us. It also means to think in contest of what God has given you. The proper balance is that all things are God’s. You’re nothing without God but everything in God.
1Co 3:21-23– 21 Therefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours,
22 whether it is Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours,
23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Gal 4:7 So that you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, also an heir of God through Christ.
Accept God’s forgiveness, His grace and reward. You are an heir of God, not a labourer. By ministry, you are God’s servant; by relationship you’re God’s son! 1 Cor 15:10. The more reason why you should think soberly (humbly) is that you get everything by His grace. You don’t deserve it, but you receive it. Jesus has already worked for it. Yours is just receive it. Poverty is not a function of the pocket but of the mind. Some people think they don’t deserve a good life or when they have one it is exuberance and pride. No! This is a wrong perception. It is a function of a low thought. Some of us need to be rich in our mind to be able to manage true riches from God, else you misbehave. Measure yourself in terms of God’s grace.
Act 7:22-23– 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds.
23 And when a period of forty years was fulfilled to him, it arose in his heart to look upon his brothers, the sons of Israel.
Moses was brought up as an Egyptian, but in his heart he was not an Egyptian. This consciousness came to him. He knew he belonged elsewhere. That is the way to think. You don’t allow your environment to dictate or calculate who you are because you belong to the place of glory. You are a kingdom citizen. Don’t engage in unhealthy and ungodly comparison.
Remember these three things:
- Remember God’s investment on your life. He has place so much value on you to make you by giving you Jesus to make you feel well esteemed.
- Remember God chose you. He chose you to be a Christian and a kingdom member. Eph 1:4, 1 Chro 28:3-6.
- Remember His promises. They are good. If God wants to bless a man He will give him a promise. All His promises are good for you.
2 Cor 1:20 for all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Develop spiritual eyes. Begin to see spiritually those things He promised you. You may need to break out of you current thinking to actuate God’s promises. Stop thinking like a slave when you are a son. Stop walking on the ground when you can ride on horses. Stop riding on horses when you can mount up with wings like the eagle. You can do much more than you are doing now by the grace of God. …but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind!
Isa 43:18-19–18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Whatever you can settle in your mind, you can have!
God bless you.