“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
I love this verse. It seems so simple yet it reveals so much about who we are and the purpose that we have been created for. I used to not think this way. I used to feel like I didn’t have a purpose or that I wasn’t good enough. My self-image was based on what other people would say or treat me like, and this made me feel so crushed. I used to be self-conscious about my body; I’m a very tall and skinny guy with a large nose, and kids I used to go to school with would rip me apart because of it. I hated it. I would wear hoodies all the time to hide my arms and never tried too hard to stand out. At home and with my close friends I felt great, they made me feel the way all of us should feel; wanted and important. Then I would go to school, it was difficult. I have always been a geeky kid who read comics and watched science fiction TV (If you couldn’t already tell by the name of the blog). I felt bad about who I was, yet I was exactly who God made me to be. The truth is, I think this is true for many of us, for you. We feel as if we don’t add up to the super-model standard that society seems to adore. We feel that we have to like what everyone likes, have a perfect body, have a picture perfect life; but we weren’t made for that. God made us for more, because he made us in his image, and those implications mean so much more than we can imagine. God created us to seek and save the lost, to bring hope to the hopeless, to fight for what is good and right. God made us to be radiant.
This is something close to my heart, because I have experienced it. I want to write about our self-worth. It may seem weird (or not, I don’t know) for a guy to say that he has dealt with self-image issues and not feeling like he adds up, but I want to speak out about it. I want to speak for you and give you hope. For my sisters and brothers who are struggling with feeling worthy, or feeling that they don’t “look” the way the world wants us to. I want to spend this month writing about that the fact that each of us are beautiful. We are created by God, and that means that we are exactly who we are supposed to be. I think this is the perfect time to speak out about this, because we are surround by people who will try to take you down with words and try to objectify you, but God says that you are more than what this world says. I’m writing today about how each of us are radiant, and what that word means. I’m writing this for you as much for me. These are things that have given me confidence, things that helped me grow above what kids would make fun of me for. Because of these ideas, I was able to be confident in my own skin, to take off the hoodies and know that my nose is fantastic (Be jealous, yo), and to know that my personality gives me a voice to speak to others like me. I want you to know that you are beautiful and awesome, that you have been made by a God who loves you so much. God made you radiant, now let’s unpack that.
Enter the presence of God
This word of radiant came out of my quiet time a few days ago. I was kicking around the ideas for this series, and then I started reading in Exodus chapter 34. There is a moment after Moses comes down with the tablets after being in the presence of the Lord. That section has a subheading in my bible as, The Radiant Face of Moses, and verse 29 says, “He was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.” So I got curious. I love words and the specific meanings behind them, so I looked up radiant. To be radiant means, emanating great joy, love, and health; very intense. Then it clicked. God’s presence makes us radiant. When we enter his presence we are revealed to his great love for us, which lets us move out and live with joy, loving others, and knowing that our health is a blessing from God alone. God made us to be radiant. He made us so that we would show love to others, no matter how they treat us, we are called to love. We are called to have joy, not live in a state of anger or complaining about what we do not have; we are called to give praise in all things. Our health is not only physical, but spiritual; we are emanating the spiritual power of God and we set the tone for the situations we enter into. We are intense with these attributes, because they are from God.
When you are radiant, it’s contagious.
Have you noticed that when you are around someone who has a great personality you want to start being like them? We see this all the time in Children’s ministry. A cool leader leads a group and suddenly the kids all try to be around that leader and be just like them. I love this because it’s exactly what we should do. We need to be doing this. As we draw near to God and live in the way he called us, it causes others around us to want what we have. It gives us the power to lead. Moses saw this, after he came down from the mountain, the people could see that he was radiant because of the power of God. They didn’t think he was crazy, and while it isn’t explicitly stated, the people saw his radiant face and continued to follow his leadership. When you enter the presence of God, you become radiant, and that spirit is contagious. You start to love and not judge or put others down, and people want that. People want to be near you to get what you have, and you can be a light to their world.
God made us radiant beings.
The final point I want to bring out from this passage is the fact that you are radiant. If God himself is radiant and we have been made in his image, we have the capacity to be radiant. We need to enter into his presence daily, because the world will still try to say you aren’t good enough. The world will try to say you don’t look good enough, that what you have fun doing is stupid, and that you are only as good as what you can buy. God destroys these lies. You are radiant. You are beautiful, you have been given gifts that will speak to others, and you are given all you need in him. I used to feel like I wasn’t good looking enough for worldly standards, but now I know that I am exactly how God created me to be. I know that every part of me was formed in his hands and in his image, and so were you. You have been made for so much more than being a pretty face, you have a heart that has been created to move. To go out and serve the lives of others and make a difference in the world. If you feel like you never add up to what the world says, know that the world will fade away, but the creator who will never leave is the one that created you. God made you radiant, and that is a promise.
I encourage you to read that small passage in Exodus 34, it gave me a revelation that I shared with you today. I hope you feel empowered and encouraged today. I want you to know that you are so much more than your outward appearance, because God made you for more. This promise is what gave me the confidence in my own self-image. I hope you know that you are so worth loving, because God made you in his image. Over the next month I will dive into further topics on self-image and self-worth. Why? Because I think it’s a message you need to hear, one that you need to be reminded of on a daily basis. Your creator made you a radiant being, and I think that’s incredible. He loves you like a father; he made you in his image. He created the stars in the sky, the mountain ranges, and awe-inspiring sunsets; but he said that you were needed in the majesty of the world. You are a child of God, a son and daughter of the king.
God made you radiant.