by Susan P. Harris
TOO OFTEN, we think of ourselves as insignificant, perhaps even inadequate. But God does not see us that way. Why? Because God created every one of us in God’s image. In the story of the creation, after God completed his work each day, he “saw that it was good.” That means that you and I, just like all of God’s creation, were created to be good in God’s view. Now, if we could only see ourselves in that same way.
Being created “good” does not mean we have to be unfailing. It just means we must try our best. Yes, we mess up. Yes, we are less than perfect. Yes, we sin! But yes, God forgives us. And yes, God still loves us.
We are not perfect; we make mistakes; we forget things. After all, we are human! Are we letting God down since God created to be good? Is God disappointed with us? I imagine God is disappointed sometimes; after all, we are disappointed in ourselves, aren’t we? We realize we should be better people. We should live better and love more, but we should remember that God loves us, despite our perceived fallacies or inadequacies.
We can change
Whether we blame ourselves or someone else for our shortcomings–as we often tend to do–we must realize that we can change, improve, and do better; so, let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Instead, we must learn to forgive ourselves and let God use us in the way he chooses, without our interference. After all, how can we love and forgive others if we cannot first love and forgive ourselves?
What does it take to make us see that we are good? We can start by looking at that image reflected in the mirror and say to ourselves, either silently or aloud, “I am loved. I am a child of God.” Then, we can look in the mirror every morning and reflect on the opportunities given us that day. We can “let the light of Christ shine through us.” And, we can make a ritual of remembering that God loves us just the way we are, even if we are not perfect.
Susan P. Harris is past president of the North Carolina Synodical Women’s Organization and a life-long member of Salem Lutheran Church, Lincolnton, N.C. Married with two grown children and five grandchildren, she serves on the North Carolina Synod Council.