Professional counselors today would emphasis the importance of having a healthy self-image in order to have confidence in yourself that would enable a person to become an achiever, who is able to excel in life.

Unfortunatly, many children grow up in homes where their self-esteem is constantly attacked by a barrage of negative feedback and criticism from their parents. Their self-image is seldom nutured by positive feedback and praise that they desperately need from their parents and other caregivers.

Therefore, many young people feel very inadequate and question their own importance to their parents. They never receive any validation from their parents that they are greatly loved and have much value in their sight. The end result is that the pain of rejection will begin its downward, spiraling  and crashing course!

There are also parents of athletics who send the kids to all the sports
camps and attend all their children's sporting events, but unfortunately, they set unrealistic standards for their children. They expect them to get the winning hit in baseball or make the winning shot in basketball.  They are living out their own dreams, vicariously, 
through their children. Love is based on performance. If the child fails then love is withheld by the parents. This kind of child experiences a different kind of rejection!  The child is rejected if they don't excel in sports!

Their pain increases, starting in Middle School, where popularity groups  are clearly defined and seen. The Brawn group is all the athletics, the Brain group is all who are honor students who are very intelligent while the Beauty group are the students, who are very attractive. Guys who are handsome and girls who are very pretty.

Therefore, if a person isn't apart of one of these groups then they are considered as being not important-a nobody! Young people begin to feel rejected, both at home and in the school. Many of them will have self-rejection issues that make them vulnerable to drugs and social-alienation. They become very disconnected individuals, who feel lost in this world of vanity and false self-importance.

Some of these adolescence will commit suicide because they can't deal with all the rejection both in their home and at school. They will be at greater risk if their boyfriend or girlfriend rejects them. The pain of rejection will be so great that it become unbearable!

These disconnected individuals become prey to religious cults and criminal-minded individuals, who are very charismatic. These con artist will sense and smell the insecurities of these needy individuals and lead them into a world of sexual perversion, where  they are used and abused!

Some of them will barely survive as prostitutes, both male and females, while others will be involved in X-rated movies or models in sex scenes that are seen on internet sites. Many of them will be under eighteen years old. They will contact sexually transmitted diseases which includes AIDS. So many of them will die before they forty years old. Tragically, many of them will commit suicide because of their guilt and shame and the fact that they feel that they are the rejects of society!

This generation of young people feels rejected and alienated from parents and authority figures. Therefore, they are very angry and hurt individuals, who become very vulnerable to drugs that they use to alter their feelings that they have no worth!

They are taught in school that they are a produce of a mysteria explosion ( Big Bang) somewhere out there in time and they have evolve over time from being an animal to becoming a human being. Therefore, they aren't very important and lack any significant value as a person. The so-called evolution theory has helped shaped their identity as being unimportant and worthless!

This concept of self-image, self-esteem, and self-identity lacks Biblical teaching that would emphasis that every individual is made in the image of God and that image was distorted because of sin. The old Adamic nature of man is tainted by sin and our DNA is influence by Satan. We reflected his image of being self-will, selfish, self-centered and rebellious to all authority especially the authority of God.
  (See Isaiah 14:12-17).

It is also true that our self-image is affected by our sins, which creates guilt and shame. Our self-image is smeared with shame, which means that I not only did something that was bad, but I feel that I am a bad person!

A person who is born again begins to reflects the image of God. Therefore, we will become unselfish and will love others unconditional. We become submissive to God's authority and we respect all authority.

It is through the process of sanctification that we begin to regain this indentity of being God-like and manifesting a new kind of love that is powerful, sacrificially, and unselfish. Our influence on other individuals will be so paramount that we will feel so good about our self and will marvel at the kind of impact that we will have on people as they are pulled toward us  like metal is drawn toward a magnetic. They see Christ in us and are smitten!

It will begin to register in our mind that we are so important to God that He sent His only begotten Son to become a substitute for us and He was willing to suffer humilation, shame, torture, brutal pain and even seperation from His own Father for the first time from all eternity in order that we could be
re-created in His own image! The wrath of God was poured out on Jesus Christ and He died in our place. The Holy Son of God became sin for us-the Holy One became unholy for us in order that we would become holy like Him.

That truth is so mind-blogging that it gives us a new understanding of our value to God. We are Somebody Special-greatly loved by an Almighty God, who is molding us into the image of His Son. The favorite verse of Christians is Romans 8:28 that God is working together the good, bad, and ugly circumstances of our life into what is good for our life.

This verse is seldom coupled with Romans 8:29 where we learn that God's Ultimate Plan of the Ages is that we are " be conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." How amazing is that truth that we are a
brother to Jesus Christ!!!

On this side of eternity, God is chipping away to mold us into the image of His Son by means of sancification but in eternity we will be like Jesus. In I John 3:2, the Word of God declares: "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."

Salvation is more than going to heaven when you die-it is about becoming like God in this world through santification. Many Christians are content with being justified and have no desire or committment to being sanctified.  Therefore, they miss out on God's ultimate plan for their life!

How do we activate santification in our life?  First of all, we look into the mirror of God's Word and we see the glory of God and the Holy Spirit transforms us into the same image and this process goes into greater degrees of glory as we experience the glory of God and submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit according to: 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Secondly, it is about choices as we must choose good over evil according to Hebrews 5:14. We will be mature as we discern the difference between good and evil and then reject the evil and submit ourselves to the good! It is the Word of God that gives us God's perspective on what is evil and why it is evil. The Word of God also teaches what is good and why it is good. A good example is found in Roman 12:21 where the Word of God declares: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." 

Otherwords, don't try to defeat evil by getting on the same level and becoming more evil. Evil is defeated and overcome by doing good, which is the very opposite of how this world operates.

A good example is when you are treated with contempt and disrespect by someone that you give that person kindness and respect in return, which reveals the grace of God!

Thirdly, santification is about sacrifice-learning to deny ourselves of the lusts or overpowering desires that are at war in our members. To present our bodies as a living sacrifice according to Romans 12:1-2. We realize that our body is the temple of God according to I Corinthians 6:19-20. Our body and spirit belong to God.

Finally, santification is about : "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:2)" Knowing Him in a more intimate manner and experiencing His favor (blessing).

Learning and embracing the promises of God that "....we escape the corruption that is the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4)" Then we must diligently
add to our faith virtue (moral excellence) to virtue knowledge (intimate knowledge of God) to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness to godliness brotherly kindness
and to brotherly kindness love (agape, which is unconditional or sacrificially love).
This is the process of spiritual maturity as we surrender to the Holy Spirit. Diligent to these principles activates this spiritual growth.

Young people want to be like Justin Beiber or Selena Gomez while a lot of adults would like to be like Donald Trump, Lebron James, Brad Pitts, Angelia Jolie or Julie Roberts.  But God has a greater plan-He wants us to be like His Son Jesus Christ, who is the essence of both love and character. He influenced more people for good than anybody else.  Likewise, we can have His love and integrity and influence thousands of people for good! 

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