Here is my recent struggle with my self…. Less than a day after determining we would study the impact of our identity Satan attacked. And he used the words of someone I respect and trust to do it. At Sunday School my Pastor talked about us being curved inward, preoccupied with self.
Well, there goes my next three months of blog content. How could I possibly write about my identity without being sinfully curved inward?
Those were my first thoughts. And I could easily have thrown my hands up in the air and tossed all these words into the digital wastebasket.
But instead, I began to research the origins of that phrase and pray about how to proceed. Augustine, and later Martin Luther, used this phrase to explain the sinful nature of humankind to seek to elevate himself above God and his fellow man. (Remember last week’s discussion about The Fall?) Let me be very clear: that is not my intent for studying our identity. In fact, I believe that when we have a right understanding of our identity we will find our proper place in respect to God and our fellow man. Beneath God and alongside man.
And so, before we proceed, I want to make a few things abundantly clear about my aims for this series.
- We are not going to search our own hearts or follow their lead to determine who we are. Our hearts cannot be trusted anyway. (Jeremiah 17:9)
- We will look to the Lord in humility to discover who He created us to be. (Isaiah 64:8)
- The truest expression of self is not found within me, but in Christ. (John 14:20)
- The proper purpose for self-reflection is to die to self in order to better reflect Christ. (Galatians 2:20)
Who Am I and What Am I Here For?
When we don’t have a proper understanding of who we are, Satan uses that void to distract, distort, deter, delay, and discourage us. When we are preoccupied with discovering our identity we cannot fully live out our purpose in this life. In part because if we don’t know who we are, we cannot know what we were created to do.
I don’t know about you, but I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am and what I’m here for. I’ve sought value and validation from what I do. My appearance has unnecessarily impacted my identity. Man’s rejection or approval swayed my perception of self. Accolades inflated my sense of self-worth. My work and worth were indistinguishably intermingled. I was driven by desires instead of pursuing my purpose. I waffled between self-love and self-loathing, self-denial and self-control, self-indulgence and self-destruction, self-sufficiency and self-lacking, self-righteousness and self-condemnation.
Self, self, self…
Before I knew who God said I was I literally looked to myself to invent (and reinvent) my own identity. I tried to fit in with those around me and when that didn’t work, I tried to stand out for all the wrong reasons. I can’t think of much that is more curved inward than that. When I spend so much time trying to establish my own identity, there isn’t a whole lot of time left for fulfilling my purpose. And boy doesn’t Satan love that.
Stop Wrestling and Start Resting
But being secure in my identity sets me free to become who God created me to be. Free from shame and doubt. From competition and condemnation. And free from pride and the lies the enemy whispers. Free to live abundantly, love unconditionally, serve joyfully, give generously, forgive endlessly, encourage wholeheartedly, fight victoriously, and praise the One who made me who He says I am.
We will always wrestle with who we are supposed to be until we learn to rest in who God created us to be. So, together, let’s discover who God says we are so we can stop wrestling and start resting!Being secure in my identity sets me free to become who God created me to be. #identity #christinme Click To Tweet
My God-given identity ends my struggle with my self.
I’d love to know which of the following God-given identities strike a chord in your heart? Is there one that makes you scratch your head?
Fearfully & Wonderfully Made
Now that we’ve laid the ground-work, established some boundaries, and determined what this series is not, we can jump right in.