When I accepted the call of God for my life, I knew that I needed to change so much more than my habits. I needed to gain wisdom and knowledge for what was to come. I needed a mind renewal. Overall, I needed to change the way I thought about my life and how I viewed myself.
So much of the words that I've posted on this blog in the past few months have come from my experiences of breaking through fears and doubts to increase my faith. I believe that God's grace for my life has been that He's taken me by the hand and has walked me through my journey one step at a time.
Like a father holding his baby boy's hand as He learns to walk for the first time, God has never let me go in my willingness to move forward. I will forever be clenched to his mighty hand.
That is what fuels me now. It's the certainty that He holds me. That He cares for me. That is the image that I have of myself. I am a child in need of his Heavenly Father. So when I look in the mirror and examine what I see internally, I see that I am purposed and well taken care of.
What is the image that you see? How does your reflection make you feel?
Renown author John C. Maxwell says, "I have never seen anyone that’s been able to consistently rise above their self-image." In other words, you won't be able to do more than you think you can do and you won't be able to be more than you believe you can be. We've discussed limiting beliefs before because we know that those beliefs will determine your actions. "You must see value in yourself in order to add value to yourself." (Maxwell)
People that have a diminished view of themselves will often sabotage their own success. Have you ever known someone that could do better yet still goes back to the same mess, the same person, continues the same destructive habits, or keeps repeating the same patterns of pain and failure?
You won't ever grow if you don't think you can grow. You just won't.
The words of Henry Ford are evident in the results you have. "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." If you believe you can't achieve something you will prove yourself right. You will take any obstacle that comes your way as concrete evidence that successful growth just isn't for you. Whereas others may encounter the same obstacles and perceive them to be stepping stones that prove they're on the right path. How you see it depends solely on how you look at things.
As you become independent of the negative self-image you once had, it will start to reflect in your work. You'll put more effort into your plan of action, you'll show up on time to meetings or to class. You'll invest more money into your development or education because you realize you are worth it.
Here's a story that may drive this point home:
A hundred years ago there were three men hammering large stones into granite under the sun at a construction site. A man approached each of the three workers because their facial expressions were all different even though all three were doing the same work.
The man approached the first worker who kept frequently looking at his watch whilst chipping at this stone and asked him, “What are you doing?”
The worker replied, “I am hammering this stupid rock and I can’t wait until I can go home. I want to get out of here.”
So he went to the second worker who seemed to be a little bit more interested in what he was doing. So he asked him, “What are you doing?”
The second worker said, “I am molding this block of rock so that it can be used for a wall. It’s not bad work but I will sure be glad when it’s done.”
Thereafter he went on to the third worker who seemed to be hammering his block fervently. He noticed that the third worker would hammer his rock, stand back admire and examine his work, then he would polish it down before preceding until he was satisfied that he had done the best he could do.
And he asked, “What are you doing?”
And the worker proudly said, “I am building a cathedral.”
All three men were doing the same work but each of them had a different attitude because they had a different perspective. Why did the last man work differently than the other two? It was because he didn't see himself as a simple stone cutter. He saw himself as a master builder, an artist, someone skilled in creating amazing buildings.
What you do, and more importantly, how you do it is a reflection of what you see in yourself. If you don't value yourself you won't value work and effort.
Take what you have read here and be introspective. Become a person who is joyful of what they see in the mirror. If God has called you, then you must understand that the calling gives you worth, His love gives you worth, His Word gives you worth.
Here are three things you can do today to attain a self-image that is closer to the truth:
1. Pray to God that He would show you who you are.
It is amazing that God would take the reality that we were wretched sinners and give us new life. When you pray you'll start to see that you are His workmanship, a creative expression of His grace, purposed for His will. Pray that He would show you the reality that is now found in Christ Jesus.
2. Do something amazing for someone else.
Go above and beyond simple kindness. Seek to bless someone in an unexpected yet powerful way. When you do something for others you realize the value that you have. You were meant to be a blessing!
3. Plan your next step.
A dream written down becomes a plan of action. You can't just wish your dream into existence. As the saying goes, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
What can you do today that will get you an immediate win? Figure out a plan that will help you get a win everyday. Any step, big or small, is positive as long as it is a step forward.
Let me know how what things you see when you look internally. Please share this with people you think will benefit from reading this. They will thank you and you’ll be helping me spread this message of hope.