Identity: Who Gets to Tell You Who You Are?

Who are You Believing?

From the time we are born to the moment we die, the world we encounter is trying to coat our identity with their opinions. Daily, we are told something about ourselves. It may be a friend saying positive, encouraging words, a coworker belittling our ideas or personality or a random person saying something mean in a parking lot. When something is said to you as truth by another person, do you question it? Do you take a look at yourself and wonder if it's true? Do you ask a friend? A family member? Or do you pray about it? Have you looked it up in the Bible?

If you're anything like me, the answer is you probably check with God less than you do all the other options. Perhaps you didn't even realize how much your identity is under the influence of the world around you. Are we letting lies latch onto your identity?

The Battle of Beach Towels and Droplets

Think about your identity as a dry beach towel. Every day you lay on the sand and someone walks by with an eye-dropper and drops the tiniest bit of water on your towel. The mean girl at school you can't quite stand up to: one drop. Your boss who harasses you: one drop. The girl on Instagram you think you should look like: one drop. Your friend that makes hurtful jokes: one drop.

Your dad who called you fat: two drops. You cutting yourself: three drops. The person that abused you: four drops. The boy you slept with that left you: four drops.

Before you know it, your beach towel is soaking wet; it's heavy and the color is distorted. It doesn't look like yours and it's uncomfortable to lay on. The reality is we let people dump lies on our identity daily - sometimes it's something about the core of who we are, sometimes just some aspect of us - but lies all the same. We don't notice the damp beach towel underneath us until it's sopping wet.

Finding Our Identity in the Truth

We need to find our identity in the right place - who is the One who knows us best? What does God say about who we are?

  • We are NEW CREATIONS (2 Cor 5:17). You are not who you used to be. His mercies are new daily (Lam 3:22-23). Don't let anyone tell you your past defines you.
  • We are ARTWORK. For we are His workmanship... (Eph 2:10a) The greek word for workmanship is εργασία. This word means work' or of the works of God as Creator'. WE are HIS work; A masterful creation by a masterful Creator.
  • We are FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE (Ps 139:14). The word fearfully here means to inspire fear or awe and to be revered, honored, and respected. Treat yourself and others with honor and respect - that's how God see us!
  • Our bodies are TEMPLES (1 Cor 6:19). Would you stand by and watch while people trashed the church building you meet in? Unlikely. If our bodies are are temples, then we shouldn't let ourselves or anyone mistreat our bodies, take advantage of them or disrespect any part of us.
  • We are BELOVED and CHILDREN OF GOD (1 Jn 3:1-2). God is the perfect parent loving and caring for His children. You are not alone and you are loved.
  • We are FREE FROM CONDEMNATION (Rom 8:1-2) through Christ - we needn't live in guilt and shame we can stand with our heads held high knowing we are loved as we are.

And there are so many more promises in the Bible to stand on. Every time the world tries to attack your identity, recognize it, deflect it with the scripture you know, and thank God for a chance to practice your faith and for the reminder that you are the child to the King.

Jenna is a volunteer and blogger for LIVEmpowered.  She is a native Nashvillian. She is a dancer, writer, and just-for-fun-photographer.  LIVEmpowered's goal is for you to know that you are LOVED, VALUED, and EMPOWERED to make choices that lead to a life of joy and purpose.

TheHopeLine Team
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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