The self-fulfilling prophesy is true so far as this is concerned: when we notice certain states about us, and we’re given to believe them, they’ll become us with great effect quicker than we’d imagine.
This is how burnout occurs. Suddenly we notice how far out of control life really is; that we’ve fallen for a mirage, which is a deception that shocks us. (There are also more chronic cases of the onset of burnout i.e. that we know about but ignore for years.) Depression often results because the realisation is devastating and more than we can, for that time, endure.
How we see ourselves—false or true—has great power.
But we can use this for our benefit, limiting the downside.
First, How God Sees Us
The visions we see of ourselves vary wildly. How God sees us never changes.
We’re loved by God, and because of this there’s a constancy of his affection toward us. Our spirits are owned by this Lord whether we like it or not; despite our crookedness.
With God there are many things—all things—we cannot change. We can only accept them. The way we’re seen, therefore, at a base level, cannot change. God knows our finiteness, and certainly compared with his infiniteness, we cannot compare.
God sees us fundamentally as put on earth for a purpose—to love God and our fellow human beings, and to use whatever gifts we discover about ourselves for his glory, not ours.
Using This Knowledge For Ourselves
There is a common thing we can all reap from the above paragraph.
If we love God and our fellow human beings and learn to use our gifts for his glory, we’ll also reap as an intrinsic benefit the right self-concept, and the best view of our current states that’s imaginable.
This means we’ll be protected from burnout because God’s wisdom will steer our ship more. We’ll also be able to refute false self-perceptions better, and many are these that threaten.
That is an important point. We can only go downhill if we either don’t listen to what God’s telling us or if we’re deluding ourselves by believing states about us that aren’t true.
Seeing the ‘Real’ Us
Getting God’s glimpse into what we’re really about is enough of a vision to sustain us through our whole lives.
There’s no need for doubt, for what God gives us in this is a sound and unchangeable vision. It’s good. It’s even better than we’d imagine it was. If fact, anything we can think up as a dream image for our lives is inferior to this vision that God has for us; for each of us.
Re-read the subheading “First, How God Sees Us” and sow into that. Live with it in your thinking and God will take you there.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: The Daily Bible Plan.