Welcome to another post in our new year-long blog series, “Journey Together,” where we answer questions about God, relationships, and life!
Hi there! We’re Jennifer Davis and Anne Clark. Having the opportunity to work with Josh McDowell, we’ve learned just how important self-image is. Josh says it affects every relationship in our lives. For that reason, we’re going to chat about how to develop a healthy self-image and why it’s so important. Josh has written a book on the topic called See Yourself as God Sees You, which has positively impacted lives around the world. Before we get started, let’s hear Josh share why he felt compelled to write it.
“I believe that one of the key factors in life, especially in a Christian view, is relationships. And I believe a person’s [unhealthy] self-image is a basic problem in loving, intimate, relationships. Why? If you don’t see yourself as God sees you, who He created you to be, it’s very hard for you to see someone else in a way that God created them and their value in life. Part of a relationship is being able to see another person for who they are. You need to know who you are in God’s view, what God says about you as His created being, then you’ll understand more about the other person. Second, if you are not yourself, then you’re never really going to be intimate with and be known by someone else because you’re always building up a facade to cover up [who] you think you really are. So, the more I see myself as God sees me, the more I can be open to other people and real.”
Why This Truth Matters
ANNE: I can so relate to what Josh says! I became a believer at 16, when I accepted Christ into my life as my Savior. What I didn’t conceive of was the deep love God has for me. Even though the Bible says that God is love, it never really became personal and real to me until I went through a situation in which I became desperate for direction from Him. That life event drew me to His Word, in a more in-depth way than ever before, and I began to see the theme of God’s love throughout the Bible. God’s steadfast and faithful love became so personal to me, in a way that my background and culture had not allowed to sink in. That journey to learn the truth and experience His deep love for me changed my life!
JENNIFER: You said something that really resonated with me. You mentioned culture, and how it contributes to how we view ourselves.
ANNE: It’s so strong.
JENNIFER: Yes! There’s often an expectation of “If I get this car, I’m going to be more valuable,” “If I get this job, I’ll be more valuable, “If I look better, I’ll be more valuable.”
ANNE: Oh, skinnier for sure.
JENNIFER: That’s right!
ANNE: Culture does try to define us. Even all the way back to, as Josh talks about in See Yourself as God Sees You, the voices that we hear growing up, from our parents and other family members. Josh speaks from a standpoint of authority, considering his really painful childhood. It’s so impactful how he brings God’s truth and lays it over what culture tells us.
JENNIFER: He does that very well.
ANNE: It brings to light how the Bible says no matter what culture says to us or about us, His Word is always true, and along with His love, it never changes. In his book, Josh did a fantastic job of not only giving us his own insight, but also using scripture to prove his point, validating his message.
JENNIFER: I agree, and honestly I have never heard self-image described in such a profound way. Josh has a beautiful way of illuminating God’s truth in relatable and personal ways, as I’ve never heard before.
JENNIFER: Well that’s all the time we have; I wish we had more! There is so much more we could say about how valuable we are through God’s eyes. We encourage you to grab a copy of See Yourself as God Sees You. It really opened my eyes to the stark difference between my false identity — derived from unhealthy influences — and my true identity, based on who God says I am. Thanks for watching!
It’s not always easy for us to love and accept ourselves. Life has probably convinced you that your identity is shaped by how you look, how you perform, and what you achieve. But in See Yourself As God Sees You, you will discover the truth: that only God’s view of you matters.
The great news: Our self-image should be tied to how God sees us. He sees YOU as loved, accepted, and valuable. Regardless of your past, God sees you for who you really are — and He likes what He sees! This book works well in Book Clubs; the discussion questions help readers to understand and apply what they learn.