In God's Own Image
Integrating modern psychological insights with Christian biblical teaching, In God's Own Image is a useful tool to the individual or group seeking personal growth, as well as to a counsellor, spiritual director or growth facilitator assisting others in that all important journey of human growth. it proceeds in three main steps: first portraying the ideal of the personality as God meant it to be, then the reality of what we are that includes goodness and deformation, and finally exmining how we can reclaim the ideal, both for ourselves and for those we assist; whether individually or as groups. The material is arranged under three parts. Part I describes the ideal: What god meant us to be. Part II describes the reality: what we actually are with both our original beauty and our fallen nature. Part III describes what we can become, how we can move towards our original beauty. A fundamental attitude to have in the arduous struggle of human growth - whether this concerns one's own growth or one's duty in assisting the growth of others - involves three convictions: 1) Change is difficult. A realistic appraisal of this fact doe not lead to discouragement. On the contrary it leads to perseverance, to patience, endurance, courage, and acceptance of occasional failure - all factors that accompany genuine growth. It helps us avoid the pitfall of looking for quick tangible results. 2) Change is important. In fact conversion and growth are not just important, they are fundamental to a life worth living. Striving towards our ideal self is the most important thing in our lives. For that reason it is worth spending on it every ounce of strength in us. When we are convinced of this then we are motivated to work for it. 3) Change is Possible. It is possible to improve, to be converted and to grow. When we have struggled to overcome one difficulty or another for years without visible success, we may get into the belief that it is hopeless to think of the possibility of overcoming the diffficulties. But the good news about each one of us is that however much the beautiful image of God in us has been tarnished and disfigured, we have the possibility to have it restored to its original beauty.
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