How do you picture yourself? How many people do you know who have a distorted view of themselves? People who have toxic tapes playing on repeat in their heads with hits like, "I'm not good enough," "I'm unlovable," "I'm hopeless and can't change," "I need to prove myself." Or, maybe you know people who seem to have the opposite problem. The tapes inside their heads play things like, "I am #1," "I am the center of the universe," "Life owes me," "I must make the world and everyone in it conform to my needs." The distorted and unhealthy pictures we have of ourselves are both a symptom of our malformation and an ongoing cause of it.
So, Christian spiritual formation must take the way we see ourselves very seriously. It's an important part of our discipleship to Jesus! Ultimately, we need to learn to see ourselves and each other the way God sees us. We get a powerful picture of what this looks like at Jesus' baptism in Matthew 3:13-17. We learn in this rich passage that our identity in Christ, the way we see ourselves, is a gift to be received from God not a status to be achieved on our own.