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Put on the new self(ie)!

We can all live in peace knowing how God sees us.

Andrew D. Schwartz

Ahh, the selfie. I wonder how many of them were taken over the Christmas and New Year holidays. You see them all over the place: people fake kissing the screen or taking one of the crew that got together again. The list goes on and on. Sure, some may take selfies because they struggle with a little bit of narcissism, but there are many more who simply want to remember a special occasion and that they were actually there to experience it themselves.

Have you ever witnessed people who take a selfie and then look at it, shake their head, and take another one? They repeat that process a few more times before finally smiling and posting it to share it with others. Too many are just not happy with what they see in themselves at first, so they keep on taking more and more selfies until they finally think they’re good to go to share it with others.

We see the old self(ie)

Sadly, that kind of thinking affects us all. And it ends up being way more serious than just how we view our poses. Many times looking at ourselves goes deep down to our very soul.

We often don’t like what we see. I’m sure a lot of things we did this past year led us to shake our heads at who we were. They may have been surface-level things—like the way we mistreated our bodies or our minds. But there may have been some things far deeper than that—like the guilt we felt for the party that got out of control or the words we spoke in anger to our wife or our kids or our friends. The list goes on and on.

As we sin, our self-worth, our self-esteem, our self-everything takes a dive, and well it should! Actually, it should keep going down to the very gates of hell. That’s what our old self(ie) deserves!

God sees the new self(ie)

But then comes the gentle, loving tap on the shoulder. It’s not someone asking you to take your picture with them; it’s the tap that comes when we hear God’s Word. The tap that comes from the Holy Spirit.

The Word tells you something sweet and comforting beyond the old self. It tells you about Christ. It tells you about a new self that has been made holy and righteous, perfect in his sight, through Christ. “Take off the old self, which is corrupted by its deceitful desires . . . put on the new self, which has been created to be like God in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22,24 Evangelical Heritage Version). It tells you how God sees you—your new selfie. You are with Jesus, but he is not standing next to you. He’s in front of you—blocking out all of your sin and guilt and shame, no matter what size! That Word tells us every day that Jesus took your place on the cross of Calvary to pay the price for every single sin and that he rose triumphant on that holy Easter Day. By grace through faith—his free gift to us by water and the Word—we can trust every word that we have learned from Scripture.

So, put on the new self—and take some new selfies! Live in peace knowing how God sees you. Stop shaking your head and thinking that every picture of yourself needs to be retaken until you’re happy. Instead, may God fill you with his joy. You are his dearly loved, perfect-in-Christ child.

Blessed new year! Blessed new selfie!

Author: Andrew Schwartz
Volume 107, Number 01
Issue: January 2020

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  • Andrew D. Schwartz

    Pastor Andy Schwartz began his greatest and most blessed personal ministry on August 8, 1998, when he married Sarah, his wife. God has richly blessed them with children Katelyn, Benjamin, Emma, and Natalie and one more unborn child they can’t wait to meet in heaven one day! God has also gifted the Schwartz family with the opportunities to serve in the public ministry as pastor and family at St. John's, Florence, Wis., where he began his ministry in 2001, and at Christ the King, Bremerton, Wash., where he has served since 2006.

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