Being changed into the image of Jesus
The Good Part of You -
You Are Not All Bad
(taken from the book "I Will Give You Rest" by Edward Kurath)
In the deep recesses of your being, how do you feel about
yourself? I am not talking about your accomplishments or the
image you present to the world, but how you feel deep down
inside about yourself. For instance,
• Do you tend to see others as better and more capable It may surprise you to know that most of us would answer "yes"
• Do you always feel “less than” others?
• Do others seem to you to be more worthy of
happiness and prosperity?
• Do you have a "poverty mentality?" (A poverty
mentality is the expectation that you will never have more
than the minimum necessary to live on, and that you are
not worthy of more).
• Are you too easily embarrassed?
• Are you petrified to speak in front of a group?
• Do you live in fear of being rejected?
• Do you often feel like a worm?
to many of these questions! Most assuredly, I was one of them.
Why would you feel this way? Is there nothing good that dwells
in you? Do you therefore need to "die to self?" After all, if you
are "bad," this would explain why you feel like a worm.
Who Does God Say We Are?
God doesn’t agree with this derogatory view we may have of
ourselves. He is very clear about this. We are made in His
image. You are. I am. It is not just God in us that is good
(though there are also places like that). There are places in
each of us that are purely "us," that are a part of who we are,
that are good. It is not just the Holy Spirit in us that is good.
When God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to
Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26), He did not say, "Let us make man
to be Us." We are separate creatures from Him. We are unique,
but made in His image. He is the pattern, but we are not Him,
and He is not us. This reality may be difficult for many to grasp,
since there has been so much teaching and preaching about
how awful we are.
His Image Did Not Leave Us
When Adam And Eve Sinned
We are made in His image, and His image still dwells in us.
Theologians do not disagree regarding the fact that the image
of God dwells in us now. Where there is dispute is in regard to
exactly what constitutes the good part and what makes up the
bad part. This dispute is not likely to be resolved until Jesus
comes again, because the Scripture is not specific enough to
tell us. Fortunately, we don’t need to know in detail, because
Jesus knows. The key point for us to realize is that there is,
here and now, a good part in each of us that is made in the
image of God!
Humility and Pride
Humility is a word that is frequently misused. Often humility is
viewed as recognizing what a worm I am, and how bad I am. "I
am just an old sinner." But humility really means to see myself
the way God sees me. When Jesus walked the earth He was
humble, and yet He did not see Himself as a worm. He did not
see Himself as less than He was, nor more than He was. He
saw Himself as God the Father saw Him. He was the only
begotten Son and He was God, but He was not God the Father.
He did the will of the Father, not His own will (Matthew 26:39),
because God the Father was preeminent.
Humility is about truth. We are not to see ourselves as more
than we are, nor less than we are. Certainly, to see the truth
about who we are in comparison with who God is eliminates the
possibility of prideful boasting on our part. And yet, we are
valuable because we are valuable to God. At the same time, it is
important that we find out who the unique person is that God
made us to be. To recognize our strengths that He gave us as a
gift is not prideful or wrong. Pride says that we did something
to earn it. Gifts by their very nature are not earned. They are
freely bestowed on us and are dependent on the giver, not the
receiver. So our strengths are free gifts bestowed on us, not
things we manufactured or earned by our own effort. Pride is
to see myself as more than I am. See Chapter 13, "The Bad Part
Of You," for more on pride.
Why Do We See Ourselves As
Let me try to explain why so many of us feel badly about
ourselves. For some of us, we got constant messages from our
parents that we weren't worth much. Most importantly, our
parents did not give us messages that confirm the truth about
our worth and our Treasure Inside - we were victims of Type A
Trauma. You may remember that destroying our sense of being
loveable and worthwhile is exactly what Type A Trauma does.
Type A Trauma is epidemic, and to some degree it is probably
Our siblings likely also gave us these same messages that did
not confirm our worth. Since they were raised in the same
home, they also suffered from Type A Trauma. In such a home
there is competition for the few crumbs of The Blessing which
are available in the family. Each child is trying to raise himself
above the others, because if he can feel superior to another
child, he won’t feel so badly about himself at that moment.
My Sister's Voice
I have an older sister who was also very wounded by Type A
Trauma. She was three years older than I, was a brilliant
student, and was much larger than I was. When I was growing
up she would set traps for me and play tricks on me to prove
how much better she was, and she used to beat me up and take
my stuff. She used to make fun of me, and called me
“Shrimpo," because for much of our time growing up I only
came up to her shoulder. She did all of these things to make
herself feel a little better about herself, and what she said and
did tore me down even further. Her message just added to my
already fragile self-image.
Our Culture's Voice
Our culture also tells us how unworthy we are. The other
children are doing the same thing as our siblings – competing
for the crumbs of blessing that are available. Our culture is
obsessed with being Number One, and competing to be
Number One is seen as a wonderful thing! Since by definition
there can only be one Number One, that makes the rest of us
“losers." And those who are Number One in football are
probably not Number One in math, or art, or perhaps anything
except athletics. Thus they too are “losers." Therefore we are
all losers, and most of us feel that way about ourselves. It is a
cultural sickness, and is beautifully described as such by Alfie
Kohn in his book, "No Contest".
Interestingly, when we compare ourselves with others, the
areas where we aren’t as good as the others are what impact
us. Ironically, when we become Number One at something, it
seems hollow. The good feeling of having achieved this victory
is fleeting, and we still feel badly about ourselves, because we
focus on those areas where we fall short. God is clear about
this: But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and
comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2
Corinthians 10:12, KJV).
The Church's Voice
The Church has also tended to focus on the bad, giving us the
impression that there is nothing good that dwells in us. One
scripture presented in support of this is Romans 7:18:
For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good
It is in my flesh only that nothing good dwells, and these
teachers assume this refers to all of my natural being. But flesh
(Greek sarx) is another fuzzy Greek word. A detailed study
reveals that my flesh, as referred to in this scripture, is only a
part of me, not all of my being. Read Chapter 13, “The Bad Part
Of You” for more on this. Jeremiah Chapter 17 is often raised as
proof that nothing good dwells in me. Again, we are faced with
a fuzzy word, the Hebrew word leb. There is significant doubt
that Jeremiah is referring to our entire inner man.
Further evidence we see of our own awfulness is that we are
not living up to the standards laid out for us by the church.
Deep inside we know we are falling short, and we feel that
others are more successful as Christians. I then think, "I am
We Believe All These Voices
So we believed all these voices that surrounded our formative
years. Certainly, we think, they can’t all be wrong. From all of
this we receive our identity. We see ourselves as bad. But
these voices are all wrong. God sees us differently, and He is
How Can We See Ourselves As
God Sees Us?
Many other teachers and authors have made lists of scriptures
that tell us how much God loves us, how valuable we are in His
sight, how we are His children, etc. They encourage us to
meditate on this list, with the implication that this exercise will
convince us of who we really are. While it is very important to
know how God feels about us, meditating on such a list (with
our head) will not change how we feel about ourselves.
Those of you that have tried this know how ineffective,
frustrating, and discouraging this is. In our head we know how
God see us, but the messages fail to make the journey to our
heart. Our feelings don’t change.
Then how can you change how you feel about yourself?
This Book Is Intended To Show
That is what this book is intended to show you. If you read the
book and walk it out, you will begin to see yourself as God sees
you, because the living God will show you. As you begin to feel
His love, the lies about how bad you are will be washed away.
Remember that judging yourself causes the wound which
triggers the Big Hurt, and this happens because this bitter root
is so contrary to how God intended for you to see yourself.
The purpose of this chapter has been to help you recognize
some misconceptions about how bad you are.
There is a part of you that was corrupted by The Fall, but this
corrupted part is not all of who you are. There is a part of you
that is made in the image of God. It is "you," it is good, and it
still exists in you. God says so in His Word. This is true
whether you believe it or not.
A key part of your sanctification process (Inner Healing) is a
complete change of attitude towards who you are. There is
buried treasure inside you (Read Chapter 9). You need to
come to know that this is true before you can possibly be
reconciled with yourself and have harmony inside. After all,
who would want to love and be best friends with something
For you to be sanctified (changed into the image of Jesus), all
that is "you" does not have to die. You are not rotten to the
core. God does not intend to annihilate you and replace you
The last chapter posted on this website describes in detail why
it is so important to see ourselves as God does, and to love
ourselves (our Treasure Inside) as he does.
Click here to go to Chapter 18, "Love, An Essential
If what you have been reading makes sense to you,
then to actually take this journey out of your
brokenness and into peace, you need the whole story.
My book, "I Will Give You Rest" gives you the whole
story, including the scriptures revealing how Jesus and
you can do this.
He came to give us life here and now, not just in the
life to come.
Click here to see how to buy the book.
Copyright 2003 Edward Kurath