June 24, 2021
Weekly Reflection – Reframing
Identity and Self-worth
Reframing a problem can make a difference. Over the years, I have been impressed with some people’s ability to “reframe” how one thinks about something. For example, rather than seeing a problem, one can choose to see a challenge. Instead of focusing on “This is just too hard!”, try “…but I can do hard things.”
The essential idea behind reframing is that the “frame” through which a person views a situation determines their point of view. When that frame is shifted, the meaning changes, and thinking and behavior often change along with it. Imagine looking through a camera lens. The picture seen through the lens can be changed to a view that is closer or further away. By slightly changing what is seen in the camera, the picture is both viewed and experienced differently.
A friend recently posted a reframing of how we think about our identity and self-worth as Christ-followers. He suggests that too often, we have tended to teach and think starting with an identity of sinfulness and the consequences thereof. “Poor me, I’m just a no-good sinner.” He suggests another way to approach this is to first come from the perspective that, “I am a child of God, made in God’s image. By love, for love, and to love.”
Perhaps that’s really where the story of identity and self-worth begins in the Christian faith. God loves us. We are sons and daughters of God. We carry the divine DNA.
My friend suggests that we stop telling the story beginning with Genesis chapter 3. Rather, let our story begin in Genesis chapter 1where it repeatedly proclaims, “It is good!” Then when we find ourselves in a position of sin (and we all do from time to time), we can be reminded of who we “really” are. You see, Jesus came to reframe our relationship with His father. And with that new frame comes a new relationship, and with that new relationship, a positive change in behavior. Yes, God loves us. He always did.
A Healthier Way
None of the above detracts from the atoning mission of Jesus and seeking to live our lives like Jesus lived. “Greater love has no man than this….” Perhaps we could start with I John 1:1-2:2.
It seems to me that this “reframing” might be a healthy way to recognize our self-worth and to get a stable sense of our own identity in Christ. What do you think?
Read more Weekly Reflections: Chaplain’s Corner
Source: Based on and edited from a Facebook posting by Dr. Lance Bolay, Director of Mission Impact, Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas, Tyler.
Note: The thoughts expressed in this Reflection are those of the Chaplain alone and do not necessarily represent those of any organization he may be associated with.