One of the dangers of living in bondage to your compulsive behaviors for a while is that you may see yourself as more bad than good. This all-or-nothing type of thinking in life is extreme. When you think this way, every thought—from how you view yourself to how you view other people—can be divided into black-or-white terms. This leaves little room, if any, for the gray areas in-between.
In recovery, this type of self-perception is dangerous because it is not a true view of yourself. You need to see that you aren’t all bad; neither are you all good. If not, it creates a cycle of anxiety, shame, and depression. Having a realistic view of yourself will help you better understand your shortcomings; if you fail, you won’t see it as final. By having a more balanced view of yourself, you can move forward in your recovery.
You Are Created in God’s Image
God made us in his image. At the end of the fifth day of creation, God had made everything except for one thing: mankind. Out of all of creation, God saved his best creation for last. When God looked over all that He had created, He “saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25b, NLT).
Not only did God see creation as being good, but He saw you as being good. After all, He created you in His image. He said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us” (v. 26). Notice the pronoun, “Us.” It shows that you reflect the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
And He distinguished mankind from the animals. You were made after his likeness, with capacities far beyond what animals have. He gave you gifts, talents, and skills to reflect his nature. More importantly, He designed you to have a relationship with Himself. Then after He made mankind, He was proud and pleased with what He had made.
You Are to Recognize Your Worth
You need to recognize your worth. Although you were born with a sinful nature and live in a fallen world, you should recognize that God sees you as valuable and loves you. This means that you have excellence and inherent dignity. So, if you were to put yourself down or have negative beliefs about yourself, this is contrary to how God wants you to treat yourself. Therefore, it is good if you can recognize your intrinsic worth—here’s how.
- Focus on your failures.
- Use self-deprecating self-talk.
- Say things such as “never” or “nothing.”
- View people as being all bad or all good.
- Recognize your strengths.
- Understand that you’re not perfect.
- Find the positive in difficult situations.
- Meditate on encouraging Bible verses.
Out of all of creation, humans were the only ones made in God’s image. You were not an accident; God doesn’t make mistakes. Likewise, if God made you in his image, you need to see yourself as being worthy. The more you understand that you are created in the image of God and recognize your inherent worth, the greater your potential to experience life as God intended for you.