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Somebody Today

August 29th, 2004

“…I in them and you in me…”

(John 17:23)

It would be easy enough to think that we were somebody special if we were selected for the Olympics, some professional sport, or pageant. But, what if (just what if), we were not socially selected first, or genetically engineered for some magnificent success? In his book, The Sensation of Being Somebody, Dr. Maurice Wagner explains three essential components to a healthy self-image:

1. A sense of belongingness which is aware of being wanted, accepted, enjoyed and loved.
2. A personal sense of worth and value.
3. A sense of personal competence.

With all due respect to Dr. Wagner’s work, anyone versed in Jesus’ Sermon On the Mount will not fail to see that these three components are very much expressed there. For example, the Beatitudes, themselves, commence with the English translation of makarios as, “Blessed” (with a view toward personal wellbeing). Such blessedness reinforces the idea that God embraces: “the poor in spirit,” “those who mourn,” and “the peacemakers” (Mat. 5:2-12). In a word, these find belonging with God. As for a sense of worth and value, Jesus speaks of the birds of the air and says, “Are you not of more value than they?” (Matt. 26,27). And, Jesus, in expecting “fruits” from his disciples, most certainly infers personal competence to produce these fruits (Matt. 7:16-20).
How we view ourselves, then, will determine how we come across to others, to ourselves, and to our God. Not to belong is to experience isolation and rejection; not to have personal worth is to devalue the work of God in Creation and Redemption; and, not to have personal competence is live in doubt and fear. No wonder that God expresses his will for all men: “That you might know that I am the LORD.”

–Robert Housby

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