What do we see when we look in the mirror? Disappointment, for one thing! Few of us are completely happy with who looks back at us! How should we view ourselves? How can we develop a proper view of ourselves?
First, let’s identify three ways we’re tempted to try and build our self-esteem that don’t work. They’re the three temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness, at the beginning of His ministry, when He had to establish His own self-identity. (I give credit to Peter Scazzero who inspired these thoughts in his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.)
“Tell these stones to become bread,” Satan suggested to Jesus. It was a temptation for Jesus to believe that “I am what I do.”
“Throw yourself down,” Satan said to Jesus. It was a temptation for Jesus to believe that “I am what others think of me.”
“All this I will give you..if you bow down and worship me,” Satan offered. It was a temptation for Jesus to believe that “I am what I possess.”
Jesus sought to please His Heavenly Father. As a friend of mine, Jose, suggested, when Jesus quoted scripture to repudiate each temptation, it’s as if Jesus was saying, “No, my Dad says… No, my Dad says… No, my Dad says!”
Our proper self-perception shouldn’t come from what we do, what others think of us, or what we possess. Instead, like Jesus, our identity should come from basking in the attention of the Heavenly Father, and from Jesus Himself.
The next time we look in a mirror let’s not just see ourselves. Let’s imagine Christ right there with us, giving us His attention. It will reflect well on us!