Pt. 1

He who hates himself, who does not have a proper regard for his own capacities … can have no respect for others; deep within himself he will hate his brothers when he sees in them his own marred image.

Joshua Liebman – Peace of Mind

·        How do you feel about yourself? When you look at yourself in a mirror, do you have a good feeling about the person you see?  Are you satisfied with who and what you are? Do you like yourself?

·        Maxwell Maltz says in Psychocybernetocs that self-image is “the individual’s mental and spiritual concept or ‘picture’ of himself/herself.” It is what a person believes about himself/herself, the map he or she consults in order to understand themselves.  The attitude you have toward yourself is extremely important.

·        Where do we acquire those feelings about ourselves? How do we arrive at a self-image?  Why do some people end up with good feeling about themselves, others with a bad feeling?

Our feelings about ourselves have their origin in the early years of childhood, largely through our interpersonal relationships.  The attitudes and opinions communicated to us by others, and our identification with other people, all tend to mold the view we have of ourselves.  Each of us needs to feel significant or worthwhile in the eyes of some other person.

·        Early in life, a person develops a variety of concepts and attitudes about themselves and their world.  Some of these concepts are linked to reality, others deviate from reality, producing a distorted view of one’s self.  A person’s self-concepts are actually clusters or attitudes about themselves, some favorable, some unfavorable.  These clusters consist of generalizations they have made on the basis of their interactions with their environment.

·        Parents, brothers, and sisters are important figures in the development of our self-image.  The Scriptures indicate the importance of the father’s role in the development of a child’s self-image as indicated by this passage:

Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children – do not be hard on them or harass them; lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated; do not break their spirit. – Colossians 3:21 AMPLIFIED.

·        The actions of parents penetrate the life of a vulnerable child and help them form either good or bad feelings about themselves.

According to Aaron J. Beck, once a particular attitude or concept has been formed, it usually influences future judgments and becomes firmly set.  For example, a child who gets the notion that he or she is incapable, as a result of a failure or of being called incompetent by somebody else, may evaluate future experiences according to this belief.  Each negative judgment tends to reinforce the negative belief or self-image.  Thus, the vicious cycle is set in motion:  each negative judgment reinforces a negative interpretation of future experiences.

·        It is important to remember that the image a person has of himself or herself is determined mostly through their interpersonal relationships.  A person’s self-image or self-estimate is the result of the interpretation he or she makes of their involvements with others.  What really matters to this person is not what others actually think, but what he or she thinks the others think if them! It is this subjective interpretation that is important to his or her self-image.

·        From time to time many people experience negative thoughts and feelings about themselves. But in order for a negative self-concept to be considered sick, it must be associated with a negative value judgment.  Not all people who regard themselves as physically, mentally, or socially lacking in certain areas consider these traits as bad, nor are the repelled by them.  They simply accept the fact of their limitations or try to change them.  Some people, however, make negative value judgments based on their deficiencies and tell themselves, “I must be bad or worthless.  Only bad people have these traits.  It’s my fault I have them.  I’ll always be this way, there’s no hope of changing.”

·        The attitudes that make up our self-image continually reinforce themselves as illustrated here:  the person who has a good self-image feels worthwhile and good about themselves.  They like themselves and accepts both their positive qualities and their weak areas.  They have confidence but they are also realistic.  They know how to hand other people’s reactions toward them, both positive and negative.  They expect to accomplish what they are capable of doing and feel that others will respond to them.  They have confidence in their perceptions, ability, and judgments.  They are not afraid to become involved with the lives of other people nor to open their own lives to others.  They are not defensive.

·        The person who has poor self-image or low self-esteem is just the opposite.  They lack trust in themselves and are usually apprehensive about expressing their ideas.  They may withdraw and live in the shadow of others or their social group.  They usually are unwilling to expose their ideas or do anything that would attract attention.  They are usually overly aware of themselves and have a morbid preoccupation with the problems.

·        Their social relationships are affected.  Because he or she has a low estimate of themselves they project this attitude onto others and think they must feel the same way about him or her.  His or her intense feelings of inferiority limit his or her involvement with people. He or she can still be with people but he or she is resistant to become honestly and openly involved  with them.  Since he or she feels other people will not want to include them in their group he or she is hesitant to join them for fear of rejection.  He or she is overly sensitive to criticism and reads things into conversations and situations that are not there.  Often he or she displays a façade with other and they never really know him or her or realize that he or she feels so about themselves.


I hope that you understand what I’m trying to show you here. The origin of our self-image is so very important and we must understand how it affects our lives for years! It’s crazy! But it’s real! And it’s something I want you to think about, even write things out that come to mind, and let’s deal with them as they pop up! I want you see you healed and set free from having a negative self-image!

And we don’t read things like this to get us down, but to reveal things we’ve sometimes stuffed away and don’t realize that it’s still there festering and in subtle ways is affecting other relationships in our lives. So even in reading things like this and having stuff brought to the surface, the purpose is to expose it so that we may take that specific thing to God in prayer and get it, not suppressed, but out totally and completely!

The way your parents were or were not there for you can affect other relationships in your life. The people that were there and the way they treated you can and does affect how you live your life.

Whether you were molested, smothered, abandoned, pampered, cussed out every day, beaten for being bad or just beaten out of abuse, everything in your life that has happened to you has affected you. And it may be in ways you never thought to look at or think about. But if you seek the Lord and ask Him to reveal things within you that are affecting you and ask Him to help you deal with them, and you pay attention, God will do just that!

God’s been speaking to me about roots here lately and it has been interesting. This is a study I did a while back and God has brought it back around! 

This is part one of this study. Stay tuned for Pt. 2