Too many people live their entire lives with low self-esteem, feeling inferior, and thinking they don’t have what it takes to live successfully. As long as you have a poor self-image, you will never experience God’s best. The reason is you never rise above the image you have of yourself. It’s so important we see ourselves more as God sees us and God sees us.
By Pastor Delbert Young
Improving Self-Image on the Inside
Improving Self-Image on the Inside
Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:3, Romans 8:37, 1 Corinthians 15:57, Proverbs 18:21, James 3:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Proverbs 18:24, Philippians 4:7, Genesis 17:5, Genesis 17:15, 16, Habakkuk 2:2
We are the children of Almighty God and he didn’t create any of us to be average or to barely get by. God created you to excel. The Bible says God specifically chose you before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). You’re necessary to this world. Even beyond that, God equipped you with everything you need for success.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
There is greatness inside you right now. However, too many people live their entire lives with low self-esteem, feeling inferior, and thinking they don’t have what it takes to live successfully. As long as you have a poor self-image, you will never experience God’s best. The reason is YOU NEVER RISE ABOVE THE IMAGE YOU HAVE OF YOURSELF. It’s so important that we see ourselves more as God sees us and God sees us as conquerors and victors.
Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through him who loved us.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He GIVES US THE VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.
You may not feel like a conqueror or victorious yet, but you need to know without a doubt, you are. You’ve got to see yourself coming out victorious in every situation.
What is the primary way people can improve their own self-image? The answer is with their own words.
Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
(NLT) Proverbs 18:21 THOSE WHO LOVE TO TALK WILL EXPERIENCE THE CONSEQUENCES, for the tongue can kill or nourish life.
Too many people kill their own selves with their words. People have low self-esteem because they have thought and then said negative things about their own self. To correct this, we turn it around and make positive declarations over our own lives. We should say, “I am important.” “I am attractive.” “I am creative.” “I am talented.” “I am intelligent.” “People like me.” “I make good decisions.” The first time or two you do this, it will feel strange and awkward, but by doing it, you will build up your self-image. Those words will begin changing how you think and see yourself.
Jesus had no problem speaking who he is. “I am the bread of life” (Jn 6:35). “I am from him (God)” (Jn 7:29). “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12). “I am from above” (Jn 8:23). “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn 8:58). “I am the door” (Jn 19:9). “I am the good shepherd” (Jn 10:11). “I am the Son of God” (Jn 10:36). “I am the resurrection” (Jn 11:25). “I am the way” (Jn 14:6). “I am the true vine” (Jn 15:1). Jesus spoke who he is. It’s important to fulfill our destinies.
James, speaking about the tongue said…
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing…
People curse themselves all the time. I’m not talking about profanity, but what they do is just as bad if not worse. They say, “I don’t have what it takes.” “I can’t get anything right.” “I’ll never lose this weight.” “I’ll never get out of debt.” “I’ll never get that promotion.” “I’ll never get healed.” “I’ll never be happy.” “My marriage will never work.” They don’t realize it, but they have cursed their own futures. We’ve got to be extremely careful what we allow out of our mouth. Words set the direction for your life. So, in what direction are you going? Simply listen to what you say. Are you blessing or cursing your own life?
Many people have gone around for years putting themselves down. They have set the limits on their lives and until their self-image changes, their lives can’t change. People think, “I’ve messed up so badly in my past there is no way God can bless me.” No. You’ve got to think what God thinks about you.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
You need to change your words and say, “I am a new creature. I am forgiven of my past. I am valuable to God. He chose me! I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus made me right with God. Jesus made me worthy to succeed.” If you say that aloud a few days, you will find yourself standing up straight, shoulders back, head up, and expecting good things to happen.
Maybe you are lonely. You say, “I’m so lonely. Nobody wants to be around me. I’ll never get married.” You’ve got to change your words, which will change your thoughts, which will change your life.
Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Say, “I’m a friendly person and I have many friends who love me and stick with me. I am fun to be around. I am attractive. People are drawn to me and God has my mate in my future.” If you say that for a few days, you will notice your self-image changing. You will have more confidence, be friendlier, and, because of that, attract more people to you.
People spoke negative words over you and those words stuck with you affecting your self-image. The only way this will change is for you to become offensive and speak correct words over your life. Maybe a parent, teacher, coach, preacher, etc said, “You’re a no good sinner.” “You don’t have what it takes.” “You will never be successful.” “You’re not smart enough to go to college.” Those words took root and set the limits for your life. The only eraser that works is you declaring God’s word about yourself. Go around for a few days and say, “I am anointed.” “I am approved by God himself.” “I am equipped with everything I need for success.” “I can do all things.” You’ve blessed your future and your self-image will improve.
If you are a student, maybe your attitude is you’re not good at school. You say, “I never make good grades. I don’t understand math. I don’t understand English.” Stop limiting yourself with those words. Say, “I’ve been given the mind of Christ. I am a fast thinker. There is nothing I can’t learn. I am full of knowledge and wisdom because I’m full of God.” You will see your attitude change about school and life. You will begin to enjoy learning. Your grades will elevate because you took the limits off yourself.
Maybe you are a judgmental and critical person. Don’t say, “That’s just the way I am.” Say, “The Spirit of God is in me. I am full of compassion. I am full of mercy. I see the best in people. I’m an encourager.” After you say that a few days, you will begin thinking differently about people. You will begin looking for the best, not the worst. You will want to help, not criticize.
Maybe you struggle with worrying. Things upset you and your mind goes ninety miles an hour worrying about stuff.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Say, “I have the peace of God inside me. My mind is at peace even if I don’t understand. I’m in God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. God’s perfect peace is guarding my mind.” After doing that, you will relax. Your mind will think on good things.
Changing our self-image is critical to have what we dream to have in life. There is a couple in the Bible who dreamed about having a child. His name, at the time, was Abram and her name was Sarai. However, Sarai could not conceive. It was not good in those days for a woman not to bear children for her husband. Sarai experienced a low self-image affecting Abram’s self-image. Do you know what God did? He changed their self-image by changing their names.
Genesis 17:5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be ABRAHAM, for I have made you A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS.
Genesis 17:15, 16 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be SARAH. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Please don’t miss the name change is in direct context with his becoming a father and her having a child – their dream. Abraham means father of a multitude. Sarah means female noble: – lady, princess, queen. God changed the words they heard about themselves. God had people calling Abram “the father of a multitude” before Isaac was conceived. Sarai didn’t have a good self-image, but when people began calling her Princess and Queen and noble woman, her self- image changed. She began to see herself as a princess. You know the story. She, at 90 years of age, gave birth to Isaac. That’s what the right image on the inside can do for your dream.
God has put something in some of your hearts that, like Sarah, seems impossible. You even laugh at it, as did Sarah, because it seems so impossible. Maybe it is your health, or your finances, or a happy marriage, or your weight, or beginning a business. You may be getting old and it seems it cannot happen. Get a new image on the inside by using your words to change your situation instead of using your words to describe your situation.
I want to project a thought to you. What if every day when you look into the mirror, you said, “I am strong. I am healthy. I am renewed like the eagle. I am excited about today.” In the natural, you may not feel that way, but use your words to direct your day instead of allowing a wrinkle, age spot, or loss of hair direct your day. The world says, “Seeing is believing.” God says, “Believing is seeing.”
What if each of us took just five minutes a day and declared blessings over our lives? How high would we rise? Why don’t you begin? Get alone in the bathroom, or maybe when driving to work, turn the radio off and speak a blessing over your life. “I have the favor of God on me. There are doors of opportunity waiting for me to get there. God’s favor and God’s mercy follow me every day of my life. I am a great person.” You may want to write yours down and read it off until you memorize it.
Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, WRITE THE VISION, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
Write your dreams, goals, and areas you want to improve then run with it. Write the things you want to see change. Back it up with God’s word. Take a few minutes alone every day to declare it over your life. It’s not enough to read it silently. It’s not enough to think it. Something supernatural happens when we speak it out. It’s then we get to eat the fruit of our mouth.
I say, “I am anointed. I communicate better and better every week. Every lesson I share is better than the one before. People enjoy my teaching. I am good at what I do. I am a great leader.” Do you know I get emails, letters, and people come up to me all the time saying, “Delbert, that was the best lesson you ever did. Everything you said was right at me. If I don’t get to come to church, I want to read your notes or watch online.”
Some of you have spoken negative things for years. Now it’s a “self-image stronghold” in your life that limits you in every way. Until you change it, you will stay right where you are. I’m asking you today to not say another negative thing about yourself. You may have a thousand bad habits and problems, but I’m asking you to not allow another critical word to come out of your mouth. Use your words to bless your life. It’s got to change on the inside before it will happen on the outside. See yourself rising to a new level. Speak about rising to new levels.
Allow today to be a turning point for you. You are so important to God that he chose you from the foundations of the world and gave you everything you will ever need to succeed. One thing God gave you for success is your tongue to bless your life and future. Your tongue will develop you a healthy self-image INSIDE YOURSELF. Get into the habit of declaring good things about you. You will find yourself holding your head high and looking forward to life. Your life will change because your self-image changed. Take the limits off yourself by IMPROVING YOUR SELF IMAGE ON THE INSIDE.
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