Through the looking-glass [self]

There is a social psychological concept called the looking-glass self that essentially breaks down to theorizing we become more and more what the most important person in our life thinks we are. You have seen the popular memes online reflecting what different people think we actually do for a living!

In life, there are many people who have different perceptions of who we really are. Exes are going to have a different perception of you than your momma. Co-workers are going to have different perceptions of you than your spouse.

The looking-glass self theorizes that we will often so strongly believe that we actually become the person the most important person in our life perceives us to be.

This brings up a couple vital questions:

1. Who IS the most important person my life? (and why is it not God?) Before you answer, realize we give certain people importance in our lives. Moreover, the most important person in our lives is not always the most 'positive-impact' person in our life. For many people the most important person in their life might be the abusive parent, and that impacts how that person really perceives himself. We may give too much importance to the person we are dating who perceives you as the one make him feel better, and she begins to believe she is only exactly that.

If you are a believer, this first question necessarily proposes a second question. Why is God not the most important person in your life?

Of course we say He is, but theory is different than practice. Can you honestly say (not on this page, but in your heart of hearts) that your relationship with Jesus is THE most important relationship you have and maintain? Can you say that God's perception of you is who you really are, or are you really becoming who some other person perceives you to be; someone to whom you have GIVEN more importance than God?

2. Who does God perceive me to be?  If God is the most important person in our life and our relationship with Jesus IS the most important relationship we have, then the second question to answer is "WHO does God perceive me to be?"

Let me give you a couple verses to think of this.

1 John 3:1 is my favorite verse in all of scripture. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are." Do you believe and KNOW YOURSELF as a child of the perfect Father who loves perfectly?

In John 13:23, the disciple calles himself "the one Jesus loves." What would change in your life if you actually believed enough to BECOME 'the one Jesus loves'? What needs to change for you to peer through the looking-glass and see what God sees?

PC Walker

Speaker.Author.Poet, whatever comes through the cracks is all grace.