Tuesday, April 13, 2010

EMMDEV 2010-04-13 [Self-image] Conclusion: Good Habits

After the Easter break (which I hope was a good one!) here is the last in our series on self-image...
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrificeâ€"the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans12:1-2
In his beautiful children's story about a community of wooden puppets called the "Wemmicks", Max Lucado tells how the Wemmicks devised a system of stars and dots. They would stick stars on the Wemmicks who were pretty or did clever things and dots on those who were not cool or fashionable or clever.
The result was self-fulfilling prophecy: those who received dots were downcast and their gloom earned them even more dots, while those who got stars felt good and their contentment resulted in confidence which earned them more stars.
One dot-covered Wemmick named Punchinello met a Wemmick who didn't have dots or stars and was truly happy. When he asked her why, she replied that she spent a lot of time with the Carpenter who had made them.
Although Punchinello was scared that the Carpenter would be cross about all the dots, he decided to visit the workshop. His visit with the Carpenter was wonderful, he wasn't cross with Punchinello and they spoke together and spent a lot of time together. The Carpenter told Punchinello that he was special and that there was no other Wemmick like him. And the Carpenter should know: He made Punchinello and he loved him.
As Punchinello left the Carpenter's house with the promise that he would visit again the next day, he noticed that some of the dots had fallen off...
Here are some keys to a healthier self-image:
1. Spend time with your Maker and know that He loves you.
2. Spend time soaking in God's Word - it gives perspective
3. Deal with your past in a concrete way - get help if you need to
4. Identify where negative self-perceptions come from: Brokenness, a warped mirror or a filter? Then deal with it appropriately.
5. Replace negative patterns with healthier Biblical ones.
e.g.: "I am a sinner - but I am a _forgiven_ sinner! Hallelujah!"
6. Determine God's will for your life and get busy with it.
7. Join a healing community - a church or fellowship group.

Theo Groeneveld theo@emmanuel.org.za
You can see past EmmDevs at http://emmdev.blogspot.com/