Hi, everyone! This week’s post is something that’s been on my mind lately — identity.
Identity was an issue with me for a long time; simply put, I have, and continue to struggle with who I am. It’s not every day like it used to be, but I do. Surprise! I’m human, and in case you haven’t realized it yet, we all are.
As human beings, we have a tendency to want to define who we are. Even more so in today’s society, we want to make a name for ourselves; a place, a purpose, and to be someone we find worth being. As Christians, we want this just as much as anyone else, and it says in John 1:12-13,
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”
It very clearly states who we are, and in Whose identity we can be found– so why do we struggle?
The answer is repetitive to the point of annoyance; we are human. Living in the world we live, being surrounded by what we are surrounded by, it is oh so easy to become incredibly influenced — incredibly at a loss.
In this, I have struggled immensely. I went through a time recently in which I was around people I didn’t necessarily agree with all the time; for example, the way they spoke. For me, personally, the words and vocabulary bothered me. I’ve always chosen to keep them free of my day to day conversation, and I was suddenly constantly around it.
Something else to know about me; I am a sponge. I soak up the vernacular of the people I’m around most, and this scenario was no different. I allowed myself to slip into a time where I became defined by those around me, and as it continued, that became harder and harder to shake. Past an odd word here or there, I developed a mindset that not only adapted to those around me, but began to care far too much what people thought.
So when that takes hold, how do we shake it? As usual, there’s only one answer; focus on Christ. I know, I know. It’s a cookie cutter answer. It’s the sort of response the church loves to holds up to the light, sing in every song, and put behind every pulpit.
But when we shift our focus from the minds around us to the mind of God, something else shifts. The longer we spend in the presence of his incredible intricacy, the more solidified we become in the truth of our identity; who we are in Christ. When you are truly aware of who you are in Him, you’re that much closer to understanding the eyes through which He sees you; and those eyes see you as breathtaking. Those eyes see you as perfection, a show-stopping creation in which He purposes to instill every last ounce of His Love.
However, there is still struggle to reach this. Shocker, right? But there is, and one of the biggest for me has always been what I’ve come to know as ‘reminders’.
Every time I stumble, there’s a reminder. “Ooh, that looked familiar. Remember when you did this?” Or, “Ya know what, maybe you’re just back where you started. Ever think of giving up?”
Every single dark, dirty, in-the-dirt struggle brings back memories of who I was, what I’ve struggled with in the past, and the big, blaring idea that I will never be better than any of it. And that, my friends, is what we call a lie.
When we allow ourselves to be caught up in who we used to be, rather than who we are now, we lose sight of our identity. And you can’t let yourself stay in that. You can’t fall victim to the mentality that you are still where you were before; it is a lie straight from the enemy, and only serves to hinder the path God has placed before you. Philippians 3:13-16 says,
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.”
Your mistakes are not as relevant as the length He’s brought you. When you dwell on what you’ve done, the past, you are allowing yourself to be held back; you are saying to God, “Yeah, well, what you made isn’t good enough. I’m not good enough. I still did this, this, this–” God has already forgiven the person you were. He already wiped the slate, washed you pure, white, and beautiful; to say anything else is to count that gift as nothing. Is that really something we want to say to Him? To the King of our hearts, our Abba, and the Lord who sent His son to give up everything so that we might live — are we really going to say that to Him?
When you’re alone, rather than dwelling on everything you wish you hadn’t done, or said, give it up. Let it go, remove all responsibility of it from yourself, and give it up. Always make sure you’re staying true to yourself; and who you are in Him. You are a Son or Daughter of the King, and without fail, He defines you. Not your mistakes, not your decisions, not your friends, and not your family. Him, and Him alone. And when you’re questioning, when you’re struggling for answers to all the questions screaming in your mind, the one you need to ask yourself isn’t just who you are; who are you not?
You are not alone.
You are not who they say you are.
You are not who they think you are.
You are not broken beyond repair.
You are not too far.
You are a child of the King.
You find your worth in Him.
You are deserving of patience and understanding.
You are perfect in His eyes.
You are worthy of being loved.
Thanks for reading! See you in a few weeks ~ ♥