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!

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Forces in Society #2 – Image

Various Scriptures

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.

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