As we’ve been in Scotland for over nine years now it’s been impossible to be unaware of their famous poet Robert Burns! A certain poem (not without humour) called ‘To a Louse’, addressed to a louse observed on a ladies’ bonnet, contains these rhythmic lines:
O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
Ever since I heard a Scottish teacher quote these lines on a Healing Retreat I’ve never quite forgotten them. As Burns’ rhyme goes on to tell us, it can be helpful and healthy to see ourselves from another’s perspective. Quite often they can see things we miss ourselves! Painful though it might be, we probably would all do well to consider the way we’re viewed by those around us. That is, of course, provided that their opinions of us don’t contradict the basic truths of God’s Word.
One person’s view on us, however, matters more than that of all others combined. It’s the Word of our Maker that’s the true key to our being. We can’t define ourselves outside of who our Creator is, and what He has to say about us. I believe that our loving Father would have something to say to each and everyone of us concerning the way He sees us. He sees us as we truly are.
Some of us think too highly of ourselves, though in a great many cases this is nothing but a cover to protect a deep, underlying sense of worthlessness. If we have an inflated view of ourselves and have forgotten that we’re but a small person in a big universe, and that we’re on earth for a short time, perhaps the Lord would point out to us that we’re not all we think we are. For example, Isaiah 40:6-8 is a great and helpful passage in our pursuit of a correct self-definition!
In our tininess, however, we’re neither unloved nor insignificant. The Lord has also made clear how much He loves us, how precious each and every person is and how highly He thinks of us! In many wonderful ways He’s spoken to those of us who feel unloved, unworthy and ugly. Yet no message of His is more beautiful and powerful than the fact that He sent His own Son to die on the cross to make us His own.
So, whether the way we see ourselves is conceited, dejected, bloated, warped, tainted, crushed, shattered or completely confused, I believe the Lord wants to encourage us and speak to us all!
Prayer: Father in heaven, today I pray that You would help me and show me a little bit more how You see me. I’m open to be corrected, encouraged and taught, and I pray that I can keep growing in seeing myself the right way, until I can meet You face to face. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
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