Sometimes the hardest relationship to maintain is the one that takes place within me. How do I feel about myself? How are my internal thoughts? What kinds of things do I say about myself? How do I present myself to others?
The relationship with self was ruined by sin. Look at Genesis 3 and see Adam and Eve’s eyes opened and they begin to be embarrassed by themselves. They look at self and don’t like what they see. That relationship with self is just as broken as their relationship with God and each other.
Fortunately, the Good Shepherd restores you! When Luther talks about God’s work of creation he says that God “has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.” The fact that he still takes care of your soul, your reason, and your senses shows that the Good Shepherd is concerned about how you see yourself. He restores your relationship with yourself. It’s a matter of listening to what the Shepherd says about you instead of what YOU say about you.
Sometimes we can be our own harshest critic. We can see all the flaws. We can feel all the shame. We can bear all the guilt. In those times it is critical to let the Shepherd care for us. It is vital to listen to what He says about us. His words of forgiveness, love, and grace are more important and more true than what you might say about yourself. Your Good Shepherd knows about all those flaws, the shame, and the guilt; but he takes it all away. In place he gives you a new identity: HIS! You are HIS! Forgiven. Redeemed. Restored!
Dear Jesus, help me to hear your truth about myself. Amen!