By Not Known
We often make one of two mistakes when it comes to knowing ourselves.
Some have self-esteem that is far too high. We have swallowed the snake’s lie
and believe that we are like gods (Gen 3:4). Others have too low a view of people
in general or too low an individual self-esteem. They see only the dust that we
share with the rest of creation and do not feel the breath of God that gives high
human significance (Gen 2:7).
The two Bible passages we consider today counter both these mistakes (Ps 8; Rom
8:9-11). They give a balance when they set us against God as creator and saviour.
On the one hand, we are put in our place as we consider creation (Ps 8:3-4). We
are tiny, impotent and temporary compared with the vastness of the galaxies, the
power of solar energy and the light years of our universe. This intensifies when
We see ourselves against the creator – for this vastness of the heavens is just the
work of his fingers!
Likewise, as we consider ourselves outside of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Without
these we are dead and unable to please God (Rom 8:6-8).
So, the Bible stops us from being so full of ourselves that we are given to self-
worship… the ultimate idolatry of worshipping the creation instead of the
creator (Ps 8:1&9; Rom 1:25).
But while we are nothing without God, we are everything in him. He has made us
just a little lower than himself (Ps 8:5, alternate translation) and placed the
creation under our rule (Ps 8:8-9, echoing Gen 1:26-28). When we are
reconnected to him by faith in Christ we find that he makes his home in us
through his Spirit and gives us the promise of life (Rom 8:9-1 1 ).
All this is best seen in Jesus who perfectly fulfils our created identity as God’s
image-bearer (Gen 1:26; Col 1:15, Heb 1:3). He is crowned with glory and has all
put under his feet (Ps 8:5-6; Heb 2:6-7; 1 Cor 15:27) as he fulfils the father’s
purposes. AS we connect to God through his son Jesus we also fully take our
place: neither gods nor just dust.
So let us see ourselves against God and in Christ. Then we will neither worship
nor despise ourselves. Instead we will join the children to sing God’s praise (Ps
8:2; Matt 21 :15-16) and declare his majesty (Ps 8:1&9).