Archive for February 28th, 2022

False Image


Written by Miles McPherson, a contemporary pastor, former San Diego Charger, speaker, and author. This is an excerpt from his book “The Third Option.”

My heart breaks to see so many people enslaved by a false sense of who they are. Sadly, those who miss God’s image in themselves are often the people who exhibit the greatest amount of racial prejudice and hatred. I see this reality manifested most often in prisons and juvenile detention centers—two of my favorite places to visit. During one of my regular visits to a juvenile detention center in San Diego, the staff asked me to meet with one kid in particular. I waited in one of the cells—which consisted of concrete walls, a cot, and a metal stool—until a skinny White kid walked in. Holding his head down, he barely looked at me. During our conversation, he told me he had been physically abused most of his life. He was also a proud White supremacist. I asked him, “who’s been abusing you?” “My dad.” “What color is your dad?” “White.” “He’s not Black, yet you hate all Black people?” And that’s when he snapped. He suddenly started calling me the N-word, yelling curses, and telling me to get the F* out. Because the walls are made of concrete and metal, every word echoed. Everything he screamed at me bounced off surfaces of the prison for all to hear.

The next week I went back to visit the same young man. The grateful staff told me they thought they’d lost another volunteer, and I wasn’t surprised. Dealing with people who do all they can to push you away isn’t for everyone. People who hurt spend a lot of energy hurting other people, and this kid was hurt. His words didn’t faze me, because I’d been on the receiving end of much worse. I was there to minister to his pain—to honorably invest in the potential of God’s purpose for his life. I also understood where this young man’s pain came from, and recognized it wasn’t about me. My second visit was different. I went in understanding his pain, with a commitment to love him no matter what. I chose to remember that, deep inside, he and I both wanted and were designed for the same thing: honor. This time our visit ended differently. Before I left, we closed our conversation by praying together. My new fried—a White supremacist prisoner who hated his father and hated himself—is the perfect example of someone who had missed God’s image in himself. It’s literally impossible for people like him to see in others what they don’t recognize in themselves, until they have a personal encounter with God that changes their self-perception.


Written by Miles McPherson, the author of today’s meditation.

Dear Lord, I ask that You reveal to us the true nature of the unalienable image that You have given us. I want to be a person of honor, and I want to be part of a movement of honor. Holy Spirit, I can do that only if You fill my heart with the love of the Father. In Your name I prayer. Amen.

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