Christian Self Image
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Christian Self Image
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Carl Jung

Carl JungThe Christian thinker and Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) discussed the Christian self-image in "Man in Search of a Soul" in which he said, "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction, both are transformed." Jung's work convinced him that life had a spiritual purpose. He was often regarded as a counterbalance in this regard to the other leading psychologist Sigmund Freud (1865-1935). Freud once said to a friend, "I can't do it better than Jesus." Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) the Danish philosopher and theologian, added to this, "God cannot make a person his equal without transforming that person into something more than a person." Kierkegaard was interested in an individual's subjective relationship to the God-Man Jesus Christ, which came through faith.

Transformation Inside

Soren KierkegaardWhat does the self-image mean for the Christian? Is it perhaps Christ's transforming personality that distinguishes Christians from other humans? In being drawn into the Mystical Body of Christ, human beings are irresistibly transformed into a new self-image. Just look at your reflection in the mirror. Your son may be the image of his father. Adam was one hundred and thirty years old when he became the father of Seth. The Bible in Genesis 5.3 described Seth as, "a son in his own likeness, according to his own image."

Like Savior like Son

Mirror ImageIn the same way, a daughter may have the same facial appearance as her mother or father and may display his or her mannerisms or idiosyncrasies. The "image" therefore may mean more than appearance, maybe similarities of gestures, even "like thinking."

Person and God Association

Syrian Idol of the Steatopygic TypeA Christian's image also denoted an association between a person and God. Saint Paul described the destructive results of idol worship on people and explained in Romans 1.22-23 that they "exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles." An idol-image here replaced the Christian image that marked the relationship between a human and his or her Creator. People were intended to have a special self-image but often, unfortunately, developed an idol-image by being sucked by an overpowering attraction into something other than God.

"Christian Self Image"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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