And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
— Matthew 22:39
Our society puts an inordinate amount of emphasis on self-image. Look out for #1 (that is, yourself), cry the pundits. How is a good self-image achieved and does it matter?
A self-image is very much like happiness. Someone once wrote about the “unhappy pursuit of happiness.” The unhappiest people are the ones who pursue happiness, because happiness is not something you can find by directly pursuing it. It is something which is a by-product of pursuing something else. It is something we discover when we are not really looking for it.
When we serve God and Christ and help other people, when we fulfill His commandments, when we see our lives being used to build up other people, to transform their lives and to bring in the Kingdom of God, we discover that God has already taken care of our desire for a good self image and we have a very adequate sense of who we are. A self-image is not some balloon inside of us that has to be pumped up; it is simply our reflection of who we are and what we are doing in this world. A right picture of God leads to a correct picture of self.