Self Portraits / Julie Sheppard
A lesson on how we view ourselves and how God in His Love and Word can transform us. How we see ourselves, and how others see us can be completely different. Then there is how God our Heavenly Father and our Creator sees us. How do these views reflect the other is what this is part of what this lesson teaches.
Taking a good luck at ourselves is not easy for most of us. We can look into a mirror and see our reflection but this is not all that we are. God created each one of us individually and He knows our hearts, our thoughts, and everything else about us. He created each of us with a purpose. We are beautifully and wonderfully made. Each one of us is His masterpiece. Most of us do not see this though. I admit that I do not see what God sees, but through this study, I hope we will have our eyes opened, and that we see who and what were created to be. We are His daughters. We are His chosen, and we are His bride. Not forgetting the men, they are His too. But this study is especially for us women, because we do not usually see ourselves in the best light. It is time that we see ourselves in the Light of Jesus, which He shines favorably upon us.
The worlds view of women has taught us that we to fit a mold to be seen as beautiful. TV shows, movies, magazines, and fashion has reinforced this view into our own way of thinking. We are not only of putting each other’s down, we also put ourselves down. If a person doesn’t fit our view of what we think they should be or act, we often criticize gossip and make jokes at the others expense. We may be nice to their face, but slander them behind their back. Let us break this terrible behavior. We are called to love each other. The Word even tells us to go a step further, and to love our enemy! But how can we love, if we do not love ourselves? It is okay to love yourself, because God created us in His love, to be loved.
Now take the time and see who you are created to be. In the first part of this four part lesson, we will make a self portrait of ourselves. You do not have to be an artist to do this. This exercise is to be fun and an opportunity to be creative. This is not a pass or fail exercise. Paints, pens, pencils and crayons are usual art supplies, there is also pictures from magazines etc… that you can make a collage. This is an opportunity to show off your creativity, and to take a look at ourselves in a new way. When you have completed your portrait take some thought and think of a scripture(s) or a person in the Bible you can relate your portrait to. You can write as many scriptures as you would like. One thing if you want to get something more than an art lesson be honest with yourself as you do these lessons
Lesson two The second lesson is not going to be much different than the first lesson except this portrait will be one to portray how we think the world sees us as. We may say we do not care about what others think of us, but if we are honest with ourselves we do care. Sometimes this can cause our view of ourselves to diminish. This can keep us from doing what God has called us to do, because we are afraid of being judged, this can also cause us to harshly judge others out of this fear. (Strike first) So this lesson is to get us beyond that fear of being judged and criticized. Once your portrait for this lesson is done, think of someone in the Bibles who makes you think of this portrait. Then ask yourself does their story reflect how you feel you are seen by others? Discuss with another if they see you as this portrait or not.
Lesson three The third part of our lesson is to do a portrait of one of your sisters. Names will be put into a bag and each one of us will pick a name from this bag. This is not an easy exercise, because of how we may feel that we are viewed. Yet one rule to this lesson is we will not be tearing each other down. This is a lesson in how we can build each other up. To show your sister the beauty she may not see in herself. Here we will also learn some truth about ourselves we didn’t know about before. This will also reinforce that we do not need to fear judgment and criticism. Just as in the previous lessons choose a scripture or person in the Bible who reflects this portrait of your sister. If you are not sure of what this portrait should look like pray and let God’s Holy Spirit guide you. You may even choose you scripture or biblical person first. Remember to build your sister up. Make sure to stay away from all things negative. Remember the saying a picture can speak a thousand words? So let us watch our words. Speak LIFE! When you have completed this portrait and added the scriptures or person from the Bible present it to your sister. In this you will both be blessed. Discuss the reason for your choices in making this portrait.
Lesson four; The best lesson is for last. This portrait is how God our Father sees us. His view of us is so much better than what we see ourselves as. It is time to see ourselves through His loving eyes. Allowing Him to open up our eyes to see the beauty of His creation. Now in this lesson you should have no trouble finding scriptures detailing how He sees us. Not only should this lesson help us to see the beauty in ourselves but in each other. Then we can learn to be more encouraging, lest critical, and to let go of our fears. Learning to see ourselves through His loving eyes. Now complete your last portrait. Once you are done let us discuss how has your view of yourself changed through these lessons? Do you see yourself as being loved? Do you see how beautiful you are? Do you see your value? Do you see how important you are?
If you choose to do this study please let me know. I would love to see your portraits and read what you have learned and if there are any lessons you learned that you would share to help another.