‘Just be yourself’ ‘Follow your heart’ ‘Learn to love yourself’ ‘I am strong, I am beautiful, I am me.’
Slogans such as these – which can be found in countless magazines, pop songs, movies and web sites – reflect a certain kind of individualism that has become today’s dominant creed.
One of the most blatant examples is found in this article from the BBC web site, entitled, ‘How to make 2019 the year you learn to love yourself.’ The trick, apparently, is to ‘treat yourself like a friend’, ‘don’t compare yourself to other people’, ‘try to have a social media detox’, realise that there’s more to you than your body, ‘write down compliments’ (to yourself, of course), and ‘be kind to yourself’.…
Christians, no less than many of their critics, can get in an awful muddle about the question of whether we are supposed to have a positive or a negative view of human nature; whether we are to affirm or repudiate it.
John Stott clarifies by noting that what we are is partly the result of our creation by God in his image, and partly the result of the defacing of that image in the Fall. Stott explains:-
Whatever we are by creation we must affirm: our rationality, our sense of moral obligation, our sexuality (whether masculinity or femininity), our family life, our gifts of aesthetic appreciation and artistic creativity, our stewardship of the fruitful earth, our hunger for love and experience of community, our awareness of the transcendent majesty of God, and our inbuilt urge to fall down and worship him.