January 4, 2010

Identity theft

I have an identity crisis more often than not.

I have sin and idols that like to pop in and tear me down when I'm least expecting it.

A huge one is just this - finding my identity in anything and everything but God.

We had a guest speaker this weekend at Summit, and I'm really glad he addressed this.

He pointed out how we tend to get our identity from 3 places:

-Production (human doings versus human beings)
-Recognition (who listens to us, accepts us, agrees with us for validation)
-Sociality (relying on relationships, the thought of being alone is terrifying)

I know that these three are certainly true in my own life. How easy it is to get validation and worth from how busy I am, how much I've accomplished, who my friends are, who accepts me, who agrees with me and how many social events I get invited to.

If I had no job, no agenda/schedule, no friends . . . how would I feel? Would I feel worthless and rejected? Yes.

I mean, this blog can even be counter-productive. I feel more validated if I know someone is reading this, and even more so when they comment or agree with me.

How often do I chase after things and people to give me validation and worth? How often do I measure myself by how full my schedule is, the clothes I wear, the people I know, my relationship status, the attention I get, the job I have, the hours spent at the gym, my outward appearance, my own self-acceptance, etc. etc.?

Living in our culture certainly is no help to any of this.

Another way to ask the question is - who is the authority over my life? Who do I run to when I question my identity or value?

Do I believe that I am who God says I am? Do I live in His reality? Do I trust Him with my deepest questions? Do I believe that He is victorious over every area of my life, especially the areas that the devil is claiming right now?

Do I chase after validation from things and people of this world, or do I rest in His embrace . . . knowing that in a world rejecting me, He accepts me and loves me without condition. And He always has. He died for each and every one of us. Even those who are hostile toward Him. If that's not love and acceptance, I'm not sure what is.

And who does God say that we are?

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation the old has gone, the new has come! All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ . . .
-2 Corinthians 5:17-18

. . . he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ . . . In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
-Ephesians 1:4-8

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
-1 John 3:1

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
-Ephesians 2:4-5

So there you have it. A new creation, redeemed, reconciled, adopted as sons/daughters, holy and blameless, loved and accepted. And that's the short list.

Thank goodness that God is patient with me. I may be a new creation, but the old me likes to break through a lot. My unbelief and distrust sure do manifest themselves in a lot of ways. I find that most of my problems stem from unbelief. Again - thank the Lord for grace, patience and steadfastness.

It's so much easier for me to measure myself by the world's standards. It's so much easier to believe that I am worthless and rejected. It's so much easier for me to try to chase and work for validation. It's so much easier to believe that I will never be enough. It's my default to try to take comfort in the world and people.

Hallelujah for a God who is so much bigger than my own understanding, self-worth . . . and for a Savior who has overcome the world and claimed victory over every painful part of our lives.

Be thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light

Be thou my wisdon and thou my true word
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son
Thou in my dwelling, and I with thee one

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only, first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art

High King of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all

1 comment:

  1. sarah, your blog is so refreshing to read. and not to attempt to validate you :) but seriously so well-written. this topic is one i think about a lot too and reading this post makes me glad that at least i'm not the only one with these exact thoughts. i think our culture makes it so easy to be self-obsessed, deriving our worth from image and popularity. and as much as i hate it, it is such a struggle for me. i want to be liked, admired, attractive (etc) it other peoples' eyes. to the point that it bothers me a lot if i perceive someone doesn't view me that way. JD has challenged me a lot on this, and i've only pretty recently begun to work through it. the verses that tells us how God sees us and the fact that THAT truly is all that matters and should matter...it's so comforting. yet i continue to get caught up in the world. it's a constant struggle to turn these desires over to Him. thank you for writing this!!


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