When he called it out in me, my heart raced, my eyes squinted and my whole body retorted with the same incredulity my mind danced through. I mentioned before that my eyebrows might raise if you said this to me, because it happened.
I’m still growing. Still learning. Still yielding to this work of God in my stubborn heart.
“You’re experiencing an identity crises. You need to to know you’re identity in Christ,” he said.
My own disgusted sighs called me into greater denial. “Me? how could I have an identity crises? I KNOW who I am!”
Yet, outward behavior often indicates inward issues. Lack of peace comes pouring out with words that sound harsh, with body language that retorts and a mind that races to find understandings, meanings and answers.
Yes, give it all to me right now, thank you very much.
Those words bounced around like hot air stuck in a rubber ball. Pshaw…they couldn’t really mean anything. I mean, an identity crises? Just what is that anyway? Christian jargon?
Thankfully, God cares enough to not leave us as we are. He allows circumstances to happen which test our tired souls. And despite what we think, beyond what we can bear. On our own that is.
And so he did with me. Just when I thought it was high time be done with all the stress, growth and stretching, God allowed more. He isn’t done with me yet, and I’m learning to be grateful for that.
Do you know what it sounds like to have an identity crises? OK, maybe crises seems extreme. Maybe just a bit of an identity struggle? Or an identity fog, perhaps?
However you define it, it looks like wearing something that isn’t yours. Never was, never should be, and if only we saw how ugly & nasty it was, never would be.
False identities are issued every day. We receive them over and over again. Quite frankly, I’d like to put a stop to all the identity theft carried at such a rapid pace. Wouldn’t you?
Many false identities come from one of two extremes, extreme lies. One says at its core, “I’m uniquely & fatally flawed.” It sounds like, “How could I have done such a stupid thing.” “I’m an idiot.” “I’ll never (get it right, be the one, etc.)” “I’m always (wrong, going to fail, messing things up, etc.).”
The other extreme smells of pride and it sounds like, ”If it is to be, its up to me.” “I’ll just do it myself.” “I’ve got this.” “I don’t need anyone else.” It might looks like anger, and control, or hide in self-confidence that’s cool, calm and collected.
Honestly, the two extremes mingle together quite intricately. Ever found yourself thinking one minute how you can’t do anything, then another thinking you can do everything?
Where’s the balance? How do we recognize the stinky outer garments we keep putting on? How do we rid ourselves of the smell they leave behind? How do we find our true selves underneath?
We need to pursue…the heart of God. And the heart God has for us.
Again, and again, and again.
As I say with my #RiseUpWriters community, we seek to know Christ more so that we can rest in being known by Christ and freed to make Christ and His truths known.
When we look to the One who created us and listen to what He has to say about who we are, we’ll hear words of acceptance. We’ll hear that we are uniquely & wonderfully created, fully and unconditionally loved.
Despite our fallen selves. Because of our risen Savior.
Believing these truths requires more than mental ascent. In order to remove the stinky outer wear of our false selves, we must activate our faith. We must seek to have our minds renewed with God’s truths, daily.
We can learn to think of ourselves as we ought to. Not more and not less. Choose the view of ourselves that’s valued and precious while wholly reliant on the one who Created us.
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God as assigned.” ~ Romans 12:3 ESV
I like the way the Message states the ending of this verse.
“…The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what He has done for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.” ~ Romans 12:3 MSG
Anytime the roots of who we think are come from something we have done or not done, we wear a false identity.
Our identity is found in who we are, in Christ, by Christ and for Christ. When we wear our true identity each day we experience freedom and peace that can’t even be explained. But it is attainable.
Yes, even for you. Especially for you. Don’t let the enemy tell you any differently.
Believe, you are who God uniquely created you to be. That my friend, is unlike any other person. We need you to be you.
In order to reclaim my true identity I took active steps to uncover the false beliefs I’d been wearing thickly and replace them with God’s true words about who He is and who I am in light of who He is. Even when I didn’t feel like it, or really believe it was true.
Those steps of faith turned into greater realizations. I experienced the freedom that follows when a human heart realizes how much God is needed, all the time. And how much He loves and cares for you, right where you are.
Who wants to wear that stinky false self anymore? Choose today, to put on the sweet smelling truth of your identity in Christ. Even if it doesn’t yet make sense, would you take that tiny step of faith and ask Him to show you more?
He is willing.
Thank you for joining me in #31DaystoBelieve as we pursue what we believe and how it impacts our lives.
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May we learn to #livewell.
with love, Jolene