Genesis 1:26 (AMP) “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. V:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

How many have ever said, “I wish I looked like them” or “I wish I had what they had”?  We all should be saying “that’s me”!  I don’t know a single person, that has not at one time or another wished they had what someone else had or wish they had the looks of someone else.

I am big-time guilty of this.  I grew up the ugly duckling with all the pretty people around me.  It seemed like someone else always had the “in-style clothes” I wanted or the hairstyle that was the hit of the moment.  Even today, my wife corrects me for the very thing I am talking about.  But I have to say, that during my devotional time yesterday, my eyes were truly opened to Genesis 1:26, 27 like never before.  God created us to be happy with ourselves, to love ourselves and to take care of ourselves.  Honestly, our love for ourselves is a direct reflection of how we love others.  If we are not going to love & take care of ourselves, then we will see that in how we take care of others.

Now as for that “outer me” – we can change that with a few simple decisions.  Just make a decision and stick to it and that outer you can become the “knight in shining armor” or “the Cinderella of the ball”.  I grew up the fat kid that some liked, that some made fun of and there were others that did not even know I existed.   But with that said, God knew all about me and loved me!  His love was not based on what I looked like and the size or shape of the outer me, all He saw was that image He had created me in.

Now that does not mean we let the temple become a fun house of laziness and bad decisions. We are to be a Christ-like example to a lost world in every area.  Debbie and I made some life changing decisions back in June.  It has not been an overnight thing making these changes, but I will say this, it has been worth it!  But from the changes we made, others have been challenged and their lives have been changed, as well.

Influence comes from many places – both good and bad.  I crack up nowadays, when I see kids buzzing about the “new thing” that is in fashion.  I can remember a few years back, when bell bottoms came back into style.  I thought “what is this”???  If you dared show up to school in bell bottoms when I was in high school, that was the “OK” to put you on the list of the “fashionably challenged list” with no hope for escape.  BUT because someone somewhere said, “Hey, this is the ‘in thing’ now”, the world followed.  Why do we do this?

I remember while watching a movie several years ago, the statement was made, “Who decides what is or who is cool”?  WELL????  Every day I am amazed at what I see the world doing and also what I see Christians doing that the world has decided is popular all for the sake of, “because I am ME” and “I wanted to”.  We have become a society obsessed with trying to make our body something of a show thing.  I can’t help but think, one day people are going to look in the mirror and say, “What was that tattoo supposed to be of again or why did I get this hole there or what was I thinking when I wore that”????  I ask this question, “Why can’t we decide what is cool or right for us and just be happy with it, not based upon a worldly trend”?

I think the answer is simple; we can’t see the masterpiece we are, because we are blinded by what they world says we should be.  You are truly a masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind.  Parents, if you want your kids to see themselves as a masterpiece, then you must first see yourself as that and then set the example.

You are a masterpiece; a precious, beautiful, work-of-art, created by the one true Master sculpture, whole and complete.  SO SHINE!!!!!!

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