We are made in the beautiful image of God

By Jenna Ebener

Now more than ever, we are faced with challenging decisions. What social situations should we attend while still being safe and showing God’s love through our actions? How should we vote? In what ways should we express our beliefs? We live in a turbulent world, and we may easily feel lost in the everyday shuffle.

I constantly feel a sense of inadequacy. I always think I can do more no matter how hard I work. At work, sometimes it can be difficult for me to know what type of impact I am making because so much of what I do is behind the scenes, and my students cannot necessarily tell me if I am helping. I could easily choose to work all day every day and still think of more ways to help our students. Even when sharing my faith with others or spending time with friends, I often question whether others see God in me. I tend to be more of a listener and am not the best with small talk; I can easily get stuck in my own head with feelings of unworthiness.

These feelings are common, and yet I know they are heartbreaking to God. For God loves us as we are. Yes, he sees our potential and desires for us to yearn to be closer to him. Regardless of where we are in our journey, God is with us each step of the way cheering us on. It is good for us to see our flaws and yearn for growth. Social worker Brené Brown says it is also important for us to identify what stories we are making up. It can be so easy to tell ourselves we are failures, we are not good enough, no one appreciates us, and so much more. The lies we tell ourselves are the devil’s way of getting in our head. No matter how far we have fallen, or even think we have fallen, we have one incredible truth to hold onto: after creating man, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

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We always hold that goodness within us, no matter our flaws or misperceptions. We have the choice to continue to improve ourselves with the desire to grow ever closer to God. We can choose to be like Judas and run from our sins or to be like Peter and ask for forgiveness. Even if we feel like we have nothing to give or contribute, God, without a doubt, will find a way to shine through. We are always enough because we are made in the beautiful image of God. All we need is a little bit of faith; God will do the rest.

When we think our seemingly inconsequential actions do not make a difference, remember the boy with five loaves of bread and two fish. While Jesus could not perform miracles in his hometown, it only took the faith of one boy to perform one of his most well-known miracles. In Mark 6:30-44, we hear about a boy who gave God all he had — five loaves of bread and two fish. In return, God fed over 5,000 people. We are more than enough to be God’s vessels and show the world what a little faith can do. When we question if we are good enough, I think Princess Anna in Frozen II has the perfect message “When will you see yourself as I see you?” Can you imagine God lovingly telling you that? Just remember, all of God’s creation was seen as good, but only humans were seen as very good (Genesis 1:31).

(Jenna Ebener, who has a Master of Social Work from St. Ambrose University in Daven­port, is a social worker at a school in Colorado for students with medical needs.)


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