Who am I?
This question begins to haunt us in about junior high, and continues to plague us for a while after that. The answers–or lack thereof–determine what path we follow after high school, what we do with our time, who we associate with. In a large part, our answers to this question become more and more binding the older we get, until they define our every action and thought.
So who are you?
Who am I?
- A girl. Therefore, I wear dresses and should be good with children and like flowers and pretty things.
- A historian. Therefore, I think about the past, read old things, notice the historical inaccuracies in movies and books, and find bits of historical information slipping into most of my conversations, whether I want them to or not.
- A driver. Therefore, I compare my skill at parking to that of others, watch the gas prices with near-obsession, and groan when I have to go places at 5 pm, because there will definitely be traffic.
- Labeled as smart. Therefore, I do my best to impress people with what I know, and am terrified in situations where I know less than people think I should.
- Not shaped like the models most clothing is made for. Therefore, I dread shopping, hate swimsuit season, and for most of my life have thought I am ugly.
These are just a few examples of ways I and other people define me. Do you see how very much our identity defines us?
Just a little while ago, I wrote about a transformation huge part of my life-long identity, which you can read about here. Since then, I have come to realize that many, if not most, of our problems arise from us believing a false identity.
Take that example. My whole life, I believed I was shy. It paralyzed me. I was so fearful. I struggled against it, but could not break free. It took God setting up a divine encounter for that lie to be revealed for what it was, and for the truth to prevail. The truth: I have not been given a Spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
As Christians, we are caught in a struggle that God offers us victory over. There is nothing the enemy wants more than to render us useless to God’s plans for us, and the easiest way of doing that is to make us believe lies about ourselves. For instance: I’m not good enough. I’m too good for those people. I can’t say the right things. Someone else would do better. No one loves me. I have no purpose here.
We don’t have to give in, though. It is written, “The weapons we fight with…have divine power to demolish strongholds [things that bind us and keep us from the freedom Christ calls us to]. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
This calls for alertness. We have to pay attention to our thoughts. Something I’ve learned recently is that, when the enemy lies to me, it often sounds like my own voice. “I don’t belong in this amazing group of the redeemed,” I hear in my own voice, when God says, “You are my beloved child, part of my holy Bride, a member of My family” (John 1:12-13; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:9-10). “I am ugly, and my body is horribly flawed,” I hear in my own voice, when God says, “I created you in My own image; you are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Genesis 1:26-27; Ps. 139:13-16). “I’m not necessary in the body of Christ. I don’t have a purpose,” I hear in my own voice, when God says, “Each member of My body has a special, unique function, and without them the rest of the Church misses out. I have prepared good works specifically for you” (1 Cor. 12; Eph. 2:10).
So, we have to be alert. And we have to know the Bible, so that we CAN take captive every thought and demolish every pretension and argument that is contrary to the Truth.
Who are you?
Don’t let yourself be shackled by the lies of the enemy. Embrace the new life into which you were baptized by water and by the Spirit when you first believed. Dive into the eternal life Christ promised when He said, “I have that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Who are you? You are a beloved child of the living God, a vessel of the Holy Spirit, a co-heir with Christ, a redeemed sinner, a saint of the Lord, saved by grace, a work of art, reconciled to God, strengthened with power through the Spirit, rooted and established in love, equipped for works of service, forgiving, gracious, loving, joyful, peace-filled, exemplary, encouraging, patient, confident in hope and faith.
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Amen. Praise the Lord!