This is my most personal writing yet to date…
Ok… with that kind of a loaded intro… let’s get started!
When you hear the word… IDENTITY… what do you think of?
Ahy-den-ti-tee in the dictionary is “the condition of being oneself, not another”.
Another way of thinking about what your identity is rooted in… is to ask yourself…
what makes you feel VALUABLE/ or WORTH something?
Here’s a short (sample) list… of things I’ve found my (false) identity in:
–Friends- I feel important when I hang out with someone that is popular, famous, or that my friends wish they were associated with. (leader, pastor, celebrity)
–Possessions: I feel more important, or special when I get a new outfit, pair of shoes, jewelry, house, etc.
— Recognition: I feel good about myself (valuable) when someone compliments me on a gift I’ve been given. (i.e. hospitality, teaching, generosity, mercy, prophet, etc.)
–Accomplishments: awards, honor, achievements of me or my spouse, job promotion
–Independence- I can do all of it, all by myself, all the time. I don’t need anyone to help me.
— Being right!
–Appearance- I feel more worthy of love when I look nice, fresh make-up, hair semi-brushed, dressed up/ well kept/ presentable, blah blah blah…
— Busy- If I’m busy… I must be important.
— Well behaved kids. Because clearly… I’m “more valuable” of a person when my kids behave (& show off how awesome their mom is).
Ok… so NONE of these things in and of itself are BAD! Most of these are really “good” things. But the problem comes when we get our worth, or value, or IDENTITY from any of these things.
One way to know if this might describe you… is to ask yourself… what’s my reaction if I DON’T get these things?
— Do I feel worthless when I’m sick and can’t meet with people to encourage them (use my God-given gifts)?
— Do I feel unlovable when I’m on day 3 of no shower?
— Do I feel rejected when I apply for a job and don’t get a response?
— Do I feel like a failure when my kids misbehave?
— Do I feel defeated when someone lovingly rebukes me when I’ve sinned?
In my experience, there are certain “red flags” that pop up when my (false) identity/value/ worth is being threatened. They include (but not limited to):
— feeling disappointed/ let down
— anger/ bitterness…
Be aware of strong emotions!
These “red flags” are feelings or behaviors I engage in when I don’t receive the validation I think I deserve and therefore my “identity” feels threatened.
Judging others is something we do out of a lack of security in our own identity. We do it out of a need to make others wrong and ourselves right. It’s also a way to get validation from others when we gossip about our judgment. I know that can definitely be true for me.
Judging and gossiping are also tempting because it gives us a feeling of control. Needing control is not trusting God. He sees everything and sees the content of our hearts, so we can rest secure in that.
Judging can release an immediate feeling of self-righteousness, but it feels icky and gross when the temporary feeling has worn off. When we feel the need to make someone else wrong, that means that we are trying to prove something about ourselves. But why do we need to prove anything when our TRUE identity is rooted in Christ? If we know we are in-dwelt by Christ and live securely within the Kingdom of God, the only way we should see others is through eyes of compassion and understanding. It’s actually a much more empowering perspective if you think about it.
Do you see yourself through eyes of betrayal, hurt, rejection? If so… you will constantly be striving for approval and perfection.
We all want other people to like us, but what happens when that desire to be accepted and even admired turns into an obsession?
The greatest prison people live in, is the fear of what other people think!
The result is… you spend your time and energy “managing your image.” To the point of manipulating and even deceptively portraying who you want people to think you are. Could it be that it’s because we don’t really believe we are who GOD (our Creator) says we are?
Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.
“If you live for their acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.” -Lecrae
So how about you? When we talk about the motives of our heart, are you more concerned with “How will this make me look?” or “How could they see God?” The right question to consider is “How could I reflect God’s image in this circumstance?”
When “red flags” pop up in my life… I ask myself 2 questions:
— WHAT LIE AM I BELIEVING IN THIS MOMENT?
— WHAT TRUTH CAN I CLING TO?
Am I stable and secure in the fact that I AM A DAUGHTER OF CHRIST?! Do I believe all that HE says I am?
If I don’t trust Him in the present, how dare I trust Him with my eternity.
If my identity is in Christ, I am able to truly love people.
Think of someone you would say you “love”. Do you need him/her to save you or fix you to show you that you have worth and value, because that’s what we do with our source of identity- we need “it” to tell us we have value and worth- if we’re freed from that… it means we can love others better.
When you look at someone and truly love them, it shows your identity is in Christ, not in that person.
Here’s a quick test… Fill in your name wherever you see the word “LOVE”.
“ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; Love is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on it’s (his/her) own way; Love is not irritable or resentful; Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” –1 Cor.13:4-8
Identity in Christ…means being 100% secure so you can lovingly confront truth and you don’t need approval from that relationship, reflecting the fact that my needs are met in Christ. WELCOME TO FREEDOM!! “He whom the Son sets FREE is FREE INDEED!”
Here’s some truth to anchor our souls to!
I am a new creation in Him!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17
I am reconciled in Christ! My message is reconciliation and freedom.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Cor 5:18-19
I am righteous and holy.
“And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24
I have been born again by the Holy Spirit:
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:3-6
I am saved by grace as a gift, NOT BECAUSE OF MY PERFORMANCE.
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Eph. 2:8
Now, you understand you have the right to a new life in Christ. Once you have broken off wrong belief systems, God is beckoning you to step into His spotlight and radiate like never before.
I radiate light wherever I go.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
I am the salt of the earth.
“You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13
I am a vessel of Divine Light.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
I am a victor.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
I have a heavenly calling.
“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1
I have royalty in my veins and lead with integrity.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
I am designed for good works.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
I am a co-heir with Christ.
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share with His glory.” Romans 8:17
I am chosen and called by God to produce fruit.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16
Now, speak the bolded declarations out loud to yourself. The power of life and death is in the tongue, so it is vital that you only allow the Truth to come out of your mouth. It could be the difference in an amazing life and a disappointing one. (Proverbs 18:21)