4. Vain Pharisee God

Unloving God-Image: Vain Pharisee God.

  • Description: Vain Pharisee God is self-centered, egotistical, and self-absorbed in His own might and power, His own goodness and beauty, His own knowledge and strength. He takes credit for all good things and blames me for all bad things. 
  • Potential Reasons for this God-Image: Your parents used you to bolster their own fragile self-esteem, without consideration of your experience. You were constantly trying to meet the unreasonable demands of your parents in the vain hope you can please them. You didn’t frequently feel loved or accepted just as he or she is.

Unlovable Self-Image: I always get put down (“Stepped-On Stacy”).

  • Description: Since Vain Pharisee God takes credit for everything that is good and blames me for everything that is bad, my efforts are never good enough. I am not worthy of God’s esteem or praise. At best, I should just put myself down and take credit for everything that is wrong in this world. I am a worthless servant who is always wrong and never praised. 
  • Scripture Passage: “If I should sin, you would keep a watch on me, and from my guilt, you would not absolve me. If I should be wicked, alas for me! Even if righteous, I dare not hold up my head, sated with shame, drenched in affliction! Should it lift up, you hunt me like a lion: repeatedly you show your wondrous power against me, you renew your attack upon me, and multiply your harassment of me; in waves your troops come against me.” (Job 10:14-17).

Loving God-Image: Praising God. 

  • Description: God praises and exalts me as His child; He doesn’t boast on Himself, but seeks to build me up. 
  • Scripture Passage: “He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:5-6).
  • And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). 

Lovable Self-Image: I’m praised.

  • Description: I’m worth being esteemed and praised by God; it’s good for me to receive praise for who I am and what I’ve done “in Christ” and to God’s glory. 
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