Your Inner Self-Portrait – Today’s Youth Devotion

Your Inner Self-Portrait

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 31:3

I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3

GOT ANY PICTURES in your wallet or purse-you know, pictures of friends, parents, or siblings-or some girl or guy? You probably are proud to show off those pictures of people you love. But how do you feel about flashing that other picture you drag around-the photo of you on your student ID card or driver’s license? Do you cringe even thinking about it?

You might not know that those photographers get paid to take the worst possible photos. Really. Well, maybe not. But grab hold of this good news: That picture doesn’t represent what you really look like.

Did you know you carry another personal identification photo, one far more im­portant than any portrait in your pocket? It’s the picture you hold of yourself in your mind-your concept of who you are. Like your ID photo, your inner self-portrait might or might not accurately represent the real you. But like that ID photo, it’s the only one you have.

Take Alex, for example. The big message he heard growing up was, “Alex, you can’t do anything right.” Was that an accurate description of Alex? No! True, there are some things Alex doesn’t do well, just like with any of us. But to say he can’t do anything right is completely wrong. Yet that message was flashed onto the film of Alex’s heart, and today Alex carries that distorted self-portrait wherever he goes. It’s the picture of a young guy who sees himself as a failure waiting to happen. And he is so embarrassed by it that he’s shy and antisocial.

On the other hand, think about Theresa. Her perception of her identity is suitable for framing. She grew up in a home where she was cherished and nurtured by loving Christian parents. She learned early that she was God’s unique, dearly loved cre­ation. As a result, she is entering adulthood confident-but not cocky-about her worth to God and to others. She meets new people easily, and God has used her to bring a number of her new friends to Christ.

Your goal isn’t to become Theresa. It’s to get God’s true view of you-a view that captures your real identity as God’s child. No matter how you see yourself right now, here’s a truth that can start to rearrange your self-portrait into a truer picture of who you are. Jeremiah 31:3 says you are loved by God-eternally. That’s right. God is committed to love you forever. Try that verse on personally: “God loves me eter­nally, and in his love he draws me to be dose to him.”

REFLECT: How does God’s view of you capture your real identity?

PRAY: God, show me areas where my view of myself doesn’t match how you see me. Help me get your true view of me.