4 things that you think define you (but don’t) and 1 thing that does

I was asked by a friend to attend a conference with him he was speaking at. He was the main speaker and we arrived early, as people were setting-up. We got chatting to a couple of the organisers and after a few minutes of conversations, they turned to me and asked? “Who are you?

It’s a great question and I don’t know a single person who hasn’t asked that of themselves. We all want an identity. We spend a lot of time looking in lots of different places to try and find it.
If I asked. ‘Who are you?’ How would you respond?

1. You may say ‘I’m a wife, a dad, a grandma. That’s your relationships, it’s not who you are.
We often look for our identity through other people; we people please and never rock the boat because we tie the acceptance we get from others as our value.
The bible says that we are all “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
God doesn’t define you by your human relationships but he offers you a relationship better and deeper than you could ever imagine.

2. You may say I’m tall, short, fat, thin etc. That’s what you look like, it’s not who you are.
Recently, I went to a newsagent and I spent some time looking at magazines and all I did was skim the front covers and this is what I found:
Build a beach body
Get religion with our style bible!
Don’t cut your hair
Lose more fat
Lose weight now
The 20 best body tips
Look your prettiest
Get sexy arms and six pack abs

Almost every magazine I looked at, had in big bold letters somewhere on the cover telling you that you need to something more with your body. We are bombarded every day with messages that we have to be the sexiest, the most handsome the biggest muscles, have the best hair or you’re not worth anything at all.
God doesn’t define you by what you look like but instead says that you are his masterpiece. You don’t need a perfect front cover model body because you’ve been made by the very hands of God.

3. You might say, I’m a thief, or a liar. That’s what you’ve done, it’s not who you are.
So often we tie our worth to our past mistakes. We lie in bed at night and say I have screwed up way too many times to be worthy anymore.

God does not look at your past mistakes but instead says “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” When he looks at us, he doesn’t see our sin, he sees Christ’s perfection.

4. You may say “i’m a doctor or a chef.” That’s what you do, it’s not who you are.
So often we confuse the two and place our identity in what we do, we think if I don’t get that job, or promotion or pay rise then I feel totally worthless. It says in the book of Romans “it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”

These are the kind of things that our society is constantly telling us about our identity; you have to be the most popular, you have to be the most attractive, you have to be the most successful and if you have ever made a mistake then you will be tossed a side as you are no use to anyone anymore.
But as you can see the bible says all of that is nonsense. So if our relationships, looks, past experiences or our work doesn’t form our identity, what does?

I think we find the answer in John chapter 1 verse 12; “To those who believe in Jesus’ name, he gives them the right to become children of God” (emphasis added)
It’s not about what you do but it’s about what Jesus has already done. A great exchange has taken place; Our sin for Jesus’ own righteousness, which made us into children of God. Because of what Jesus did and only because of what Jesus did, you have become a son or daughter of the God of the universe.

This was a serious revelation to me. Something that I am terrified of, and have been since I was little boy, is failure. In my head, I always associated success with love. So, I must get a first in an assignment, I have to write a good blog post because then maybe you guys will love me  and if I don’t therefore, you guys won’t. There was a time a few years ago, where I was leading a project at church something I wasn’t experienced in, and that stressed me out because I was scared that I would mess it up. My mentor, saw this and he talked with and prayed with me until I saw that my fear of failure was creating barriers in my relationship with God. . Every time I would come to pray and felt God say he loved me, my instant response was; No, you don’t. You can’t. How could you? I’ve failed too many times, I’ve messed up too much. I couldn’t accept his love because I thought it depended on me. It doesn’t.

Imagine I am holding a £20 note. Imagine if I folded it in half. Then into quarters. Then into eighths. Then imagine I chucked it on the floor and stood on it. Would you still want it? Of course you would! We still want the £20 note, it’s still worth £20 right?! It may have been being folded up and stood on but  Its value hasn’t changed. It’s the same with us. When we take knocks, make mistakes, look in the mirror feeling horrified as we see another spot, our value doesn’t decrease and our identity stays the same. Because it’s not about you or your circumstances, It’s about Jesus.
You are a beloved child of the heavenly Father. That is at the core of your identity. That can never change, it’s who you are.

Which one of the four examples do you feel you have believed most?
What do you think of the idea that our source of identity is found in being a child of God?


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