Claudius: Image and Reality

Claudius was the fourth Roman emperor. He's pictured here as a god, strong and powerful. This is how Claudius wished to be depicted and remembered, rather than how he really looked. The reality is that he was despised as a child on account of his disabilities. He limped, dribbled and his nose ran when he was excited. Historians have suggested he either suffered from Polio or Cerebral Palsey. In other words, the image is rather different to the reality. 

William James, the American philosopher and psychologist wrote 'Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.'
 
Allow me to add another dimension. There is also the person in us whom God sees. In 1 Samuel 15, we read that King Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites in battle. He only partially fulfilled the mission, keeping the best of the animals and keeping captive Agag, their king. He was so pleased with himself, that he erected a monument to his honour after the battle. In Saul's eyes, he was a great king. In God's eyes, he was a failure. In verse 11, God says  “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” What a difference between image and reality! 
Likewise, when we undervalue our worth and sell ourselves short, it's important to be  reminded of our heavenly connections. Our value is not found in our looks, intellect or skills, but the sanctity of our Creator:
 
Psalm 139 says
 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
 
Claudius' worth came not from being the image of a god, but being made in the image of the Creator.