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“Images increase the danger of inadequate ideas.”

A thought by Dallas Willard (2014-02-01) from his book, Renovation of the Heart: PuttingOn the Character of Christ (p. 100). NavPress. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Does that make sense to you?  Here is what Dallas says, “The image one has of oneself, for example, can override everything else and cause one to act in ways contrary to all reality and good sense. Those who have been rejected or abused as children or have lived with addicted or ‘cold’ parents, have distorted images of themselves and of ‘reality.’”

He then goes on and says, “Individuals who suffer from a poor image of themselves are caught up in self-rejection and have no defenses against group pressures. They do not see themselves as the objects of God’s love, and they have no place to make a stand.”

He then quotes, Henri Nouwen who noted, “Success, popularity and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of a much larger temptation of self-rejection. We have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions.”  We accept it as a fact that we deserve to be pushed aside and rejected. We see ourselves that way. “Self-rejection,” Nouwen continued, “is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the ‘Beloved.’ Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”

I love what the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:13-14 (NLT), “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”  And then he says in verse 17, “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!”

The key is what is your image of God and what do you see is his image of you.  As Dallas says, “The person and gospel of Jesus Christ— building on simple ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so’— is the only complete answer to the false and destructive images and ideas that control the life of those away from God. The process of spiritual formation in Christ is one of progressively replacing those destructive images and ideas with the images and ideas that filled the mind of Jesus himself. We thereby come increasingly to see ‘the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ (2 Corinthians 4: 4, NRSV).”


So where did you get your image of who you are?  Do you want to change it?

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