Our identity or self-image is a bit like looking in a mirror. We see our reflection and make judgments about ourselves. However, the 'mirror' we use tends to be the world around us: how do I compare with others and what do they think of me? But there is another mirror we can use — the mirror we should use. James 1:23-24 tells us that the Bible, God's word, is like a mirror. We look into it and see what we are really like. Here is a description, not from culture, but from God. The world tells us that we need a good self-image. The Bible says that we need a right self-image. With a pastor's heart, Graham Beynon, minister at Avenue Community Church in Leicester, helps us realign our thinking.
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- Publisher: InterVarsity Press
- ISBN: 978-1844743254
- Pages: 160
- Price: £8.99
The world tells you how to view and evaluate yourself, but even if you think you already know who you are in Christ, I urge you to read this clever little book! It helps you keep looking in Scripture’s mirror, rather than the world’s.
The author’s argues that our self-perception is constantly under threat. We’re tempted to weigh ourselves according to our appearance, performance, pedigree, acceptability, or significance in life. Yet it should be enough to know we have the nobility of being created in God’s image.
Secondly, because of the Fall, we’re not good people. Nonetheless, we should not wallow in self-hatred, since humble dignity awaits us in Christ if we will only recognise our spiritual wretchedness and bankruptcy. In Christ, God truly and graciously delights in us. Since this is completely undeserved, it cannot be shaken, even by our heinous offences.
Thirdly, in Christ there is nothing to prove. We are totally loved and truly made beautiful. That liberates us to love God and others. Even so it is still of grace, for when we do good things that is a privilege from God rather than a basis for pride. Conversely, when we are aware of our sin, we are reminded that we are only acceptable in Christ and always imperfect this side of the return of Christ.
This superb book will help Christians recover a biblical view of themselves — the painful reality of who they really are; and the glorious re-creation given them in Christ. Each of the book’s nine chapters concludes with useful questions for group reflection.
I would like to have seen more on how these truths go from head to heart and on how to do this as a church. But the book is accessibly written, and covers Reformed truth with such clarity that I intend to lend my copy to believers and unbelievers alike.