Growing up, things seemed pretty simple. It was black and white to me. There were things we did as girls, like wearing make-up, and there were things guys did, like wanting to shoot every squirrel in the yard.
That time seems like forever ago now.
Now I can’t help but watch a TV show and pick up subtle messages. Everywhere I have to process instructions about how my body should look, and what I should want as a woman, and how I should stand up for my rights but never offend anyone, and what a relationship should look like.
It’s not just us women who have to muddle through all the noise. Men do too. They have just as many messages about how their bodies should look, what they should want, and how they should be strong and sensitive all at the same time.
It can be so confusing sometimes. There’s no wonder that some people just choose to say I’m not either, so none of those things can apply to me. But that doesn’t work either. Having no rules is just as enslaving and confusing.
I think maybe we’ve all got it wrong.
It’s not about finding my identity as a man or a woman or … other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the gay/lesbian/transgender/etc lifestyle is okay. But then neither is what we do to ourselves.
Yes, I believe we’re made male and female, and we have natural strengths and weaknesses that spring from our genders. But those things don’t define us.
I really think our focus is in the wrong place, because we can’t find identity in any gender or lifestyle per se.
What happens when we try to find identity in the wrong places?
There’s no denying we have some problems. We struggle with self-esteem, discontent, jealousy, anger, and the like. We look for affirmation in all the wrong places. We think if we just make enough money, we’ll be happy.
If we find the perfect spouse, we’ll have it made.
If we have children: a boy, a girl….
If we get that promotion…
The list goes on.
But the funny thing is once we reach whatever milestone we have in our heads, the discontent comes back. It’s like a twisted merry-go-round.
So what do we do? How do we kick the lies to the curb?
First, we learn who our Creator says we are.
We dive into the Word of God where God has already told us who we are. And who He says we are is better than anything this world has to say.
Do you ever feel like a champ? A failure?
Whatever you’ve got going on, God knows exactly who you are. Even better than you do.
Not only does God see our every strength and weakness, but He sees and says we’re beautiful.
On your worst day, He says you’re beautiful. Can you believe that?
Believe it, because it’s true.
Think about your most treasured possession or relationship. For many of us, that would be our spouses or children.
Now think about what you love and dislike about them. I’m sure the love eclipses anything negative.
That’s how God feels about us, only infinitely more than we could ever express.
We are God’s treasures. We’re the ones He gave His life for.
We can be such messes. How can God call us beautiful and valuable? Because we’re redeemed.
We’re beautiful because we’re covered with the precious blood of Christ. The sinless, spotless blood of Jesus.
He makes us beautiful and valuable.
God knows you and He’s chosen you.
Were you ever picked last in your high school PE class? Or have you been rejected at a job or by someone you care about?
We all know what rejection feels like, but do you know what being chosen feels like? For someone to know you at the very core of your being and still want you?
In Christ you can. He knew before He created time whether you’d choose to be His child. He knew, and He chose you first.
You’re a new creation if you’ve accepted Christ as Savior (head over to this page if that doesn’t describe you).
You’ll never be the same person you were yesterday or the day before or the day before that, because He’s making you more like Him all the time.
And each time you choose to live your life for Him – to read your Bible, to respond in love, to pray – you’re moving closer to the person He’s created you to be: a person after God’s own heart.
We’re never alone.
God is always with us no matter what we face in this life: good, bad, embarrassing, ugly.
There’s no place on this earth you can go where He can’t follow.
I hope you’re getting the picture by now. You’re loved by the Creator of all there is.
It’s really quite simple: you give your life for what you love, and He gave His for us.
If you asked me how I would describe myself, ‘strong’ probably wouldn’t even cross my mind, but that’s not how God sees me.
My purpose in this life is to live for Him, and as a result, point others to Him.
It’s so crazy to think about it, because it’s such a paradox, but we’re really strongest when we’re weak. We’re strong because He’s strong, and He’s living through us.
He uses our inadequacies for His glory.
We’re always remembered.
When you become a child of God, your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). Not only that, which is pretty awesome considering that means you get to spend forever in heaven, but God has written your name on His hands.
On His hands.
I remember writing things on my hands in school – big homework assignments, big to-dos – to be certain I wouldn’t forget. No one’s name ever ended up there, though. You’ve got to really love someone to do that, which describes God perfectly.
Second, learn who God is.
The second thing we learn when we turn to Scripture, and really the most important part, is who God is.
A promise is only as good as the promiser. If we don’t know who God is, how can we trust what He’s said about us or anything else?
Rest assured, we can trust this Promiser.
Each verse of Scripture tells us who God is, but I especially like to learn who God is by learning the names He calls Himself.
Unlike many of our names today, God’s names actually tell us who He is, and He has a lot of them.
I created a couple of resources a while back for a couple of posts, but they’re completely relevant for this one too. I’ve linked them below.
- 60+ Names and Attributes of God & Jesus: This is a small binder size (5.5×8.5 inches) list for prayer journals or for sticking in your Bible to study.
- 20ish MORE Names and Attributes of God: This one’s a set of printable cards. Print them on card stock for best results.
Stay tuned. I have a plan for a more in-depth resource on the names of God for the Resource Library here at HISsparrowBlog.
It’s amazing that the key to self-health isn’t self. It’s looking outside ourselves to something – Someone – greater. When our focus is on God, our relationship with Him, everything else falls into place. We find our place, because it doesn’t really have anything to do with the places we find in this world but everything to do with who we are in Him.
With that being said, I hope if you’re here and haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord, you’ll read my page Weary Sparrow. You can’t find your place in Christ until you know Him. Until you accept Him. Please, please read it because the truth is this post can apply to you too. And I hope it does soon.
How has your focus caused you to lose sight of your true identity? How have you overcome that? And how have you benefited from finding your identity in Christ? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.