There is a single factor, a thing with such astounding influence that, like the tendrils of the strongest vine, it reaches into nearly every area of life. This deep driver motivates our choices, colors how we see the world, and even defines our vocabulary. It determines how we interact with and view every other person on the planet. Depending on the source we pull from to define this powerful thing, it can be extremely helpful or completely destructive.
What is this frightfully compelling force? Identity.
As relational creatures, we have a tendency to use our surroundings as source material for our identity. What do my friends say about me? How about my enemies? My life experiences? My accomplishments? My job? We look at other people and compare ourselves…am I more or less successful? More or less attractive? More or less popular? We begin doing this at a very young age and even though it might sound petty and “high school,” it continues well into adulthood. We’re on a mission to figure out who we are and at times the search can seem endless.
Let’s face it. Comparison is just a niced-up word for belittlement. When two things are compared, one always comes out “less than.” So if comparing makes you feel better, you’ve just belittled the person you held yourself above. And if it makes you feel worse, you’re being critical of one God’s favorite creations – YOU! As I learned on the Toth Ministries retreat a few weeks ago, comparison is being enamored with self and trying to figure it out based on others rather than His voice. The only infallible source is God himself. Even your most trusted friend can only speak from their limited experiences and biases. Their word should be at most a confirmation of what God says about you. He is constant…He does not change…He cannot lie.
There are plenty of scriptures that tell us who we are. We’re His kids (John 1:12). We’re His friends (John 15:15). We are accepted (Romans 15:6-8). We are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are free (Galatians 5:1). We are chosen (1 Thessalonians 1:4). And those are just a few. Crack open his word and look for who He says you are!
We also have the amazing privilege of just talking to God and asking Him to tell us how He sees us. Find a quiet place, get comfortable, set the atmosphere (music, candles, whatever you enjoy), and ask. Make sure you’ve got a pen and paper because He will certainly respond. And don’t censor it as it comes. Chances are He’s gonna say things to you that you find difficult to believe at first. When I did this, it took me a week to even be able to say aloud (to myself, no less!) all that He said about me. But trust me, it’s POWERFUL! His thoughts about you cannot be numbered and He loves you more than you love yourself. That is quite a combination.
Can you imagine how your thoughts, your responses, your words, the way you treat others could all be altered by simply acquiring an honest, accurate sense of identity? It’s acting like a son or daughter instead of a servant. It’s the difference between believing yourself lovable and living in self-loathing. It’s coming from a position of confidence and ownership rather than insecurity and poverty. Think that might effect a thing or two in your day to day life? It’s time to abandon the self-awareness, the comparison, that feeds our disbelief of who we really are and embrace only the way our heavenly Father sees us. That is all that’s true. Allow THAT to be the deep driving force that touches every aspect of your life.
So, are you feeling brave? Share in the comments who God says you are. Or tell your story so others can read and be encouraged by your wins. Those are just a couple of ways to spread the influence of your true, God-given identity even father!