One of the biggest problems that people with mental health issues have is their perception of themselves. The Church hasn’t been of much help in this, focusing on sin and depravity more than focusing on how God actually thinks about us. We think many thoughts daily that are unworthy of our grand position in Christ–and this goes for both believers and non-believers, for ‘God is no respecter of persons’. His opinion of us stands, no matter what.
I’ve collected a few quotes here that may help with this.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139)
I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of. For to have been thought about—born in God’s thoughts—and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, most precious thing in all thinking. – George MacDonald
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. – C.S. Lewis
Listen to the words of this Godfrey Birtill song:
I am not disappointed in you
I never have been, and I never will be
I’m not embarrassed or confused
Thinking you’d better improve yourself
Or else…..I’m done with you.
No I’m not disappointed in you
I’m not ashamed of you, thinking what a let down
I’m not frustrated or accusing, bitter or abusive
I am love, and I love you.
I’m not bored with you
I’m celebrating you
I have set you on a Rock
A chip off the old block
At home in this; beautiful place
Never doubting you
No need to shout at you
Hey I think you’re amazing,
Though sometimes a little crazy
How I love to dance/laugh with you.
I am not disillusioned with you
I never had any illusions in the first place
I know exactly who you are
I’ve known you from the start
Yes, I am love, and I love you.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3, NIV)
Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing heaven has upon us in Christ! He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. He is the architect of our design; his heart dream realized our coming of age in Christ. His grace-plan is to be celebrated: he greatly endeared us and highly favored us in Christ. His love for his Son is his love for us. Since we are (fully represented) in him, his blood is the ransom that secures our redemption. His forgiving us our sins measures the wealth of his grace. This grace shown towards us communicates a wisdom and discernment of our worth that completely surpasses any definition. The secret is out! His cherished love dream now unfolds in front of our very eyes. (Ephesians 1, Mirror Bible)Live your life overwhelmed by God’s opinion of you! (1 Cor. 10:31a, Mirror Bible)
It is important to realize that you are precious and loved by God. His opinion of you is the same as his opinion of Christ, for we are one with Christ. Once we learn God’s opinion of us, it begins to heal our mind and emotions, letting us see reality.
May you see clearly God’s thoughts of you, and may it heal you just as it has helped heal me.