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How to See Yourself
A Balanced Biblical View of Yourself
Many people seem to fall into two extremes in the way that they view themselves. They are either prideful and think that they are more important than they actually are. Or they don't think very highly of themselves, feeling worthless, not thinking that they have anything to contribute. Both of these extremes are wrong, and can be remedied by a biblical view of mankind.
I. The Dangers of an Unbalanced View
Paul, the Apostle confronted this in the book of Romans. In chapter 12 he is discussing spiritual gifts in the Body of Christ. In verses 3-8 he talks about how the righteousness of God will cause the believer to conduct himself with humility in the local church. He says this in verses 3-5
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Paul was worried here that some would try to overestimate the gifts that God had given them, while at the same time underestimating the gifts of others. If a person is underestimated, he may fail to exercise the gift that God has given Him, while the one who overestimates himself might lord it over others, or try to use gifts that God never gave him.
Paul demonstrates that God has given each person a spiritual gift to enable him to do what God wants him to do. No one is to be excluded, or should feel unnecessary. All are equally important to God and to the Body of Christ.
While Paul is specifically talking about the Body of Christ here and the use of spiritual gifts, this is a lesson that every person needs to know. God has created us for a purpose. We were created in His image, to glorify Him. All of us are important and the reason we are still on this earth is that God wants to use us in His eternal plan. It is when we don't understand, or forget why we were created, and for Whom, that we fall into the extreme unbalanced views we are talking about. There are three truths we have to know to get a balanced view.
II. Man is a Special Creation of God
It is interesting that out of all of the creatures that God created, no other has been created in the image of his creator. The animals weren't. And even the myriads of angels that the Lord made before us were not given this honor. As a matter of fact, Scripture calls them "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation."
We see in Psalm 8 that it describes man as being created to have dominion over the universe. Although the King James Version translates verse 8 to say that man was made a little lower than the angels, the actual Hebrew term here translated angels is "Elohim." This is the normal generic word for God. So some translators have rendered this verse as man being created a little lower than God Himself. But whichever way you translate it, this Psalm is talking about man's pre-fall condition. However, it also seems to point to the future when, because of redemption, man will be exalted to a more lofty position. That position, we now know, is that we will reign as heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ Himself in His eternal Kingdom.
III. Man is a Fallen Creature
Though created to have dominion over God's creation, man fell from that lofty position. Paul tells us it was through one man, Adam, sin came into this world (Romans 5:12). Sin separated us from God for all eternity, and rather than reigning over this universe under God, man is now on his way to hell and eternal separation from the Lord, and all that is holy and good.
Scripture says that all of our righteousness are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). And no work of righteousness which we have done, or can do, will ever save us (Titus 3:5). We are helpless creatures, without hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12).
Any person tempted to have too high a view of self, will have the wind taken out of his sails by a proper understanding of the Fall.
II. Man is a Recipient of God's Mercy and Grace
Just as no other creature, created by the Lord, was created in God's image besides man; no other creature has experienced the love, mercy and grace of God like mankind. The question is, why would God save such a miserably sinful creature as we were? He didn't save the fallen angels. There is an old hymn that talks of this. The chorus says:
"Holy, holy, holy is what the angels sing; and I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring. But when I sing redemption's story, they will fold their wings. For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings."
From being dead in trespasses and sins, we are made alive in Christ, through faith in His name. We are now Sons and daughters of the living God (I John 3:1). And, as we said earlier, we are heirs and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). And nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 8:38,39).
This final aspect of the how the Bible sees man rounds out the whole picture. It keeps us from going to extremes of self-loathing on one end, and self-exalation on the other.
To summarize all of this, in order to have a true view of self we have to see mankind as God sees us. First of all, we must see ourselves as those who are created in the image of God, and designed to have dominion over all of God's creation.
Secondly, we must understand that we are a creature that has fallen, and is so totally depraved. And there is nothing we can do that can make things right with God, and restore our relationship with Him.
Finally, we need to see ourselves as loved by God so much that He was willing to sacrifice His one and only Son for our sins. He did it, not because of anything in us that was good, but totally because of the grace and mercy of Almighty God.
It is only those who have come to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who will ever have a truly balanced view of themselves. For it is only through Christ that we can see ourselves for for the sublime creatures, the horrible sinners, and the objects of divine grace that we really are. Let us all look to God, and His Word, and begin to see life in a balanced way.