"Self-image" is what you believe you are giving others in a relationship. You may find it hard to give away something of great value or junk. Developing an accurate and healthy self-image aids the relationship building process.  You can give away that which is constantly renewed in you.  You loose nothing by giving an accurate view of myself.  

Your self-image is your personal view of whom you are or how you want to be identified as acceptable.

Your self-image is based upon several factors starting at your youngest age. The factors coming from others are parental identification, parental expressions, sibling expressions, peer expressions, and expressions of significant others into your life. You have self-exploration factors as well. These self-exploration factors come from you physically, psychologically, and spiritually.  Self-exploration comes from experiences how well you fit in the circumstances you are in.  A self-exploration factor can come from doing something well or doing something poorly and you are the only one who knows how well you did.  The self-image is flexible and ever changing as you are as you grow. The most important influence on your self-image needs to be who God says you are. Many people believe in what other people say about whom they are instead of what God says. This puts other people on the throne of your self-image and self-esteem. You may try to get your self-image from someone who cannot tell you who are and you act out that self-image regularly. Many people have trouble seeing who they are because they have taken the wrong perspective and see things upside down, inside out, or worse. Getting oriented with a perspective that does not change due to the pressure of others is the only way to begin to accurately assess who you are and why you are here. God is the only one who can give you that perspective and image.

The alternative is to be reshaped as follows:

As you get to know God, you see or understand by faith what He wants and created you to be. Since He knows how you are designed, His work brings true perfection. In that true perfection is the opportunity to know yourself and be pleased with what God has made. God does not make junk, no matter how bad you may feel about yourself. There will eventually be a clearing up of confusion related to how God put you together and what He has redeemed you to be.  You are made for an identification with God in Christ.  You are purposed by Him for Him.  Being filled with the nature He designed for you is key to joy that overflows.

As the Charlton Identity Graphic represents, we are whole people and can get out of shape by the way the world impacts your thoughts about yourself. God makes us able to withstand worldly pressure by filling us with Himself. This equalizes the outside pressures from the inside and repairs any dents or dings that occur. When we are not sure who we are, we ask the question, "Who am I?" When we are in Christ and He is in us, we can say, "I am." Whose "I am" is the point. Are you someone who is made by someone like you and lacking his true identity, or made by someone who is The "Crafter" of people?

We convey our self-image through communication, trust, intimacy, vulnerability and common goals. Behavior is a big part of how we convey our self-image and is a big part of the communication process.

Charlton Identity Graphic
Original from Preston Charlton, Nov. 7, 1991

Iamge of a well formed  identity with Jesus inside Iamge of a shapeless identity for by others