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There's a story about a girl who was the daughter of one of the royal families of Europe. She had a big, round nose that destroyed her beauty in the eyes of others--and especially in her own eyes. She grew up with this terrible image of herself as an ugly person.

So her family hired a plastic surgeon to change the contour of her nose. He did his work, and there came the moment when they took the bandages off and the girl could see what happened.

When the doctor removed the bandages, he saw that the operation had been a total success. All the ugly contours were gone. Her nose was different. When the incisions healed and the redness disappeared, she would be a beautiful girl. He held a mirror up for the girl to see.

But, so deeply embedded was this girl's ugly image of herself that when she saw herself in the mirror, she couldn't see any change. She broke into tears and cried out, "Oh, I knew it wouldn't work!" The doctor labored with that girl for six months before she would finally accept the fact that she was indeed different. But the moment she accepted the fact that she really was different, her whole behavior began to change.

People tend to act according to what they believe about themselves. If we are deceived into thinking that we are not what God says we are, then we are going to keep on acting that way. That is why the way to break the power of the most vicious and evil habit is to see yourself as God sees you.

(From a sermon by Mark Opperman, No Condemnation, 9/19/2011)

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