Self image is how you see yourself. It affects your self esteem and confidence. It includes what you think you look like, how you see your personality, what kind of person you think you are, what you believe others think of you, how much you like yourself or think others like you. Poor self image may be the result of accumulated criticisms that you collected as a child which have led to damaging your own view of yourself. A destructive self image can lead to depression, addiction, violent behavior and suicide. This is not how God made us.
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” (Genesis 1:27,28)
God created us with a divine image, likeness and vocation. If we can appropriate that understanding of ourselves by faith we can become what a truly healthy and flourishing human being is born to be. As we age we are prone to dwell on our limitations, our shortcomings, our regrets. We need to be reminded of our divine identity.
If we believe that all people are created in the image and likeness of God we will relate to everyone we meet as God’s representative, a member of the divine royal blood. Mother Teresa said that she saw in each dying or destitute soul on the streets of Calcutta the image of Jesus. When we encounter those who are depressed, who feel valueless, whose self-image is poor to non-existent, we need to share with them the good news that they are created in the image and likeness of God, and they can put on a new self in Christ, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of their Creator. No one should be controlled by a mental picture of themselves that they have received from others. The only picture that counts is that which God supplies us in Christ. That is life and peace. That is good news.