"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]."Romans 12:2 AMP
Thoughts for Today
We gaze into a mirror to see how we look. We evaluate what we see and make changes accordingly. If our hair is messy, we comb it. If we have a spot on our clothes, we clean it--or change to a new outfit.
Similarly, we look into a mirror of life to evaluate how we are doing, and often make changes based on what we see. There are three kinds of mirrors to choose from: other people's opinions, self-judgment, and God's Word.
Today's scripture makes it clear that living to please other people is not the answer. Judging ourselves can lead to two extremes: pride or condemnation. We only see a true image of ourselves when it is reflected from the Word of God. This week we will be exploring some of those reflections.
We all have choices. We can strive to conform to the standards set by the world around us. We can measure our successes and failures by those standards.
Or we can base our self-image on our expectations of ourselves. All too often we don't meet those expectations and experience a sense of failure. All too often we condemn ourselves for past mistakes. All too often we see ourselves as not good enough, not pretty or handsome enough, not smart enough.
Or we can see ourselves as God sees us. How do we know what He sees in us? We find the answers in His Word. Only there will we find truth. Only there will we find the love and acceptance that we seek. Only there do we learn the changes we need to make. Only there do we see a true reflection.
Which mirror are you using?
Father, I know I sometimes fall in the trap of judging myself by the world's standards. I find myself wanting to "fit in" and adjusting my lifestyle so that I will. I also feel like a failure so much of the time. Help me to look into your Word instead of to others or myself for the real answers. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Seeing Yourself in God's Image: Overcoming Anorexia and Bulimia by Martha Homme, MA, LPC. Written by a counselor with experience helping those with eating disorders, this study is born from her own struggles in adolescence. The group challenges members to find their identity in Christ as they overcome this difficult struggle. This guide offers understanding of distorted body image, denial, and the family systems influence. It also explains how to break free of social pressures and how to restore the temple and tie the recovery process together. A companion booklet Seeing Your Loved One in God's Image, can be used as a quick reference guide dealing with issues associated with eating disorders. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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