What do you see when you look in the mirror?
I will never forget, as a senior in college, having coffee with a beautiful cheerleader. No, honestly, the unforgettable part wasn’t her beauty and quick mind. It was that beyond the stunning exterior of a young woman who looked like she “had it all together” was a someone who described herself as a failure.
When she looked in the mirror, she saw “ugly” and “disappointing” and “rejected.”
I can say, after thirty-plus years of pastoring and counseling, that this woman was not an exception. Throughout her childhood she had heard the message from her family, mirrored in her circumstances, that she didn’t measure up and that she was unlovable.
Here’s the thing: she was looking into the wrong mirror. She was seeing and hearing—and believing—lies.
Unfortunately, all sorts of warped mirrors in our lives can result in:
- Feelings of insecurity, inferiority, or superiority
- Performance orientation: my value is only in what I can do
- Withdrawal: avoid risk at all cost as it brings rejection
- Denial: refuse to look honestly within as it’s too painful
- Compensation: overachieve and prove everyone wrong
- Addictive behavior: medicate the pain
- Unfulfilled longings for significance and acceptance
Our culture provides multiple self-help resources and tools to address all kinds of dysfunctions. But the root cause to many of our problems is an inaccurate view of ourselves that comes from believing God has chosen us.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:3-7)
You are chosen by the Creator of the universe, the Source of life, the Savior of the world!
Whatever you’ve heard about who you are, despite what has been planted in your mind about what you’re worth, here is what God sees and declares: In Christ you are wanted, valuable, secure, competent, beautiful, and called for a purpose only you can fulfill.
Do you believe that?
It’s what the mirror of the Word of God says. It’s what the Holy Spirit reveals to us through the Scriptures.
I’ll ask again: what do you see when you look in the metaphorical mirror?
Here’s what God sees: His dearly loved child who is wanted, valuable, secure, competent, beautiful and called. He loves you and longs for you to see yourself as God sees you.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip