What do you see?
Go look in a mirror real quick. Seriously, go do it, I’ll wait.
Are you back yet?
What did you see?
Brown hair? Blue eyes? Long blond hair? Green eyes? Glasses? Spiky hair? New braces? That pimple you have been trying to get rid of?
Apart from your physical characteristics, what do you see when you really look at yourself?
Do you see someone that God loves unconditionally or do you see someone that feels like God has abandoned them?
Do you see a person that Jesus gave his life for or do you see a person that feels like God couldn’t care less about them?
Do you see a person that can change their world or do you see just another teenager struggling to get through another hectic day?
Do you see someone that has incredible things in store for their life or do you see someone that feels inadequate and useless.?
What do you see when you look at yourself in a mirror?
It was close to 3 AM and I woke up out of a dead sleep dying of thirst. Generally, I fill up a cup of water and leave it by my bed in case I wake up thirsty, but for whatever reason I forgot to do it this night. Still half asleep with my eyes barely open, I stumbled into the kitchen to get a cup of water. Surprisingly, I was awake enough to find the cups and pour myself some water.
I was not, however, awake enough to remember that there was a mirror hanging in the hallway.
As I rounded the corner headed back to my room, I caught a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. Being as groggy as I was, I didn’t realize that it was just a mirror and I was seeing a reflection of myself, so I automatically assumed that it was burglar who had somehow managed to get into the house.
To say I freaked out would be an understatement. I screamed, punched at the mirror, and threw the cup of water all in one quick motion. It took me a few seconds, but finally I realized that I was only seeing a reflection of myself.
The point of this story, and sad truth accompanying it, is that often it can be incredibly startling when we take a good look at ourselves and see what we truly are.
Or at least, what we think we are.
The truth is that as teenagers (and let’s be honest, adults too) when we take a good hard look at ourselves, we rarely like what we see looking back at us.
We look at ourselves and see the mistakes. The failures. The mess-ups. The accidents. The sin. The fear. The insecurity. The uncertainty.
It’s easy to look at ourselves and get discouraged because we think that we are useless, that we can’t do anything right and that God couldn’t care less about us.
We look at the circumstances and situations in our lives and we think that God has left us, that He has kicked us to the curb and that there is no way that He can use us.
But nothing could be farther from the truth!
The mistake that we make a lot of times as teenagers, and as humans in general, is that we automatically assume that our perceptions of ourselves are the same perceptions that God has of us.
Totally not true.
When you’re struggling with feelings of worthlessness, God looks at you as valuable.
When you’re fighting doubts about whether or not you can reach your friends with His gospel, God looks at you as more than able.
When you feel you are not good enough to have Him listen when you pray, God is hanging on your every word.
When you are struggling to overcome that bad habit that causes you to get down on yourself, God looks at you with forgiveness.
When you look at other Students your age and feel like you pale in comparison to what they’re doing for God, He looks at you as a World Changer.
When you view yourself as too ignorant to lead people to Jesus, God looks at you as the greatest Soul Winner your generation has ever seen.
When you find it the hardest to live a life of separation and dedication, He views you as more than strong enough to live a life of commitment.
Our perception of ourselves, more than anything else, has the ability to be our greatest motivator or our biggest deterrent to what God wants to accomplish both in us and through us.
God views you as:
A world changer
A difference maker
A soul winner
A prized possession
As a key piece of what He want to accomplish in this world
God’s perception of you is way better than the perception you have of yourself and it is His perception of us that truly matters.
Now, go look in the mirror again, but this time, begin to view yourself as God sees you.
So tell me, what do you see now?