Summary: Comparison between those who attack our self-image with messages of inadequacy, and God, who made each and everyone of us to reflect his image!
Forces in Society #2 – Image
By James Galbraith
First Baptist Church, Port Alberni
August 19, 2007
You may be reading the bulletin and noticing that this is the second message
in a series I call “Forces in Society”, and wondering to yourself:
“what does he mean by Forces in Society?”
and you might also be asking,
“What was the first?”
“Forces in Society” are what I’ve called those things around us that cause us to make the choices we make and do the things we do.
There are many of these, including family, money, image and fear. (and many more) Each of these can and does influence what we do and who we are.
And there was indeed a first message, way back in July,
and in it we looked at how certain fears, some healthy and others less so,
motivate us to make choices, some good and some bad.
We then compared that to how the fear of God,
the deep, awe inspired fear of our loving and powerful God,
can lead us to make choices that both honour Him and improve our lives.
I’d gladly share more on that with you if you’d like to hear it later, but for now let’s turn out attention to the second of these “forces in society” – Image.
Image – can be many things, that boil down to our appearance,
Our projected impression on others,
what we think others think about us, (whether it is accurate or not),
what we actually feel about ourselves.
We may not think that “image” is that big of a deal,
And it is very true that some very blessed people worry very little about their “image”, but for many of us, myself included, image is a powerful force to be reckoned with in personal decisions.
And I don’t think I’m alone - just look at how the media around us tries to get us to “buy into” the images they portray:
The Gap - attractive, athletic and energetic youth,
wearing the same clothes and singing, dancing and having a good time,
while maintaining a definite “cool” attitude.
Nike - runs high-risk activity commercials to woo youth,
family style ads to appeal to parents and
pays high-level athletes to endorse products, all to portray the image
that it makes the best product for all levels and styles of athletes.
Home-equity loan companies project an image of seniors enjoying the good life, being able to go on trips and cruises and buying nice things, and not having to worry about the bills because the value of their homes is paying for the fun.
These companies, and thousands of others,
wish to portray an image that appeals to the shopping public,
but part of that means that they want us to look at our image
- the appearance that others see of us –
and wish that we had more of what they are offering.
This involves seeing ourselves as not quite good enough,
and needing what they have in order to get just a little bit better.
They want us to buy their products so that we can attain the image they display, rather than simply feel good about who we are and what we have now.
Our image is confronted with this type of manipulation hundreds of times a day, and it will continue every day for a very long time.
And it’s not just advertisers launching these assaults - our self-image gets assailed by too many sources than I count.
- those who need to feel better about themselves by attacking others
- those who care only for what they can get out of us
- those who simply ignore us out of spite or some other “reason”.
These are just a few of the things that cause us to see ourselves as less than what we really are.
I’d like to spend this morning redeeming this concept of image.
I want to take it away from those who would manipulate it for their own gain,
and those who try to make us feel like we’re not good enough.
I want to do this by showing you that in God’s eyes,
our image is as good as it’s ever going to be,
and all we have to do to attain and maintain our God given image is put our trust in the one who made us.
Created in God’s Image
The verses I read already are intended to show that each and everyone of us is a reflection of the God who made us.
The God said, “let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground”