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Donaldson devotion - 'Uniquely different'

Donaldson devotion - 'Uniquely different'

Donaldson devotion - 'Uniquely different'

4 October 2020

Knowing that we are made in the image of God gives Christians unique self-worth not found in this world.

At a time in our world where many people’s mental health is suffering, Commissioner Janine Donaldson reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

 

As we continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been quite a lot of discussion in the media about the impact the virus is having on our mental health. 

For some, the restrictions have been a positive catalyst for relationships to be strengthened as people have had to learn new ways to work together. It has done my heart good to hear stories of the many innovative ways people have found to reach out and stay connected to others – even though they have been physically separated.  

However, for many, it has not been such a positive experience, creating other issues including isolation, loneliness and anxiety. 

What has concerned me most is a report from the Chief Medical Officer, who indicated that the number of people being admitted to emergency departments with self-image and self-worth related issues has risen by 30 per cent in the past six weeks – and this figure has significantly increased even further as it relates to young people.  

Self-image is how we perceive ourselves. Sadly, many people define their own self-image by what they see when they look in the mirror or by their perception of what they think others think of them. 

The Bible presents us with a more holistic and positive definition of ‘self-image’. In the creation story we are told that “God made humankind in his own image and likeness” (Genesis 1:27). And then in Zephaniah 3, we are told that God delights in us and rejoices over us with singing. 

In Psalm 139, the Psalmist says that God made all the delicate, inner parts of my body. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. I was made wonderfully complex. God knew me as he painstakingly designed me with loving care. 

I didn’t just evolve into who I am. I was created and designed with a purpose. And while the blueprints of me may look similar to other people, they are not exactly the same. I am unique – and so are you. 

This is a message we need to hear – and many long to hear. We have been made in the very image of our creator God! And everything he has made is good. Our ‘self-image’, our sense of self-worth and value can never be determined by what other people think of us, or by anything we have done.  

Coming to the realisation that he was God’s cherished and deeply loved possession, the Psalmist wrote: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14). 

Perhaps it would do us all good to stand in front of a mirror, take a good look at ourselves – and read that verse out aloud. Let us see ourselves for who we really are: God’s cherished and deeply loved possession.

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