Ladies, in this post in our series exploring our true identity, let’s look at whether you’re shining the proper light on your portrait — the self image of YOU that you carry around inside your head.
Your TRUE identity comes from one single source: what God says about you. At Calvary, God declared that He sees YOU as eternally lovable, and eternally valuable!
Why, then, do so many of us live as if we don’t believe God views us as lovable and worthy? Because we DON’T view ourselves the way God does. We’re like paintings hanging in a dimly lit art gallery. The outlines of our frames are visible, but it’s impossible to make out the details of our features. Until, that is, God’s pure, truthful spotlight shines upon us. ONLY then can we see ourselves as the beautiful portraits God sees —free of the shadows of guilt and shame and self-loathing.
Lurking in the Shadows
Much of the way we think about ourselves TODAY, however, was formed during our early childhoods. These three critical questions may help you to discover why you may still be living as if you don’t know that God sees you as wholly loved and cherished:
1. How Much of God’s Light Was in Your Home When You Were a Child?
Were your parents and other significant adults in your life believers? If so, did they model a loving relationship with Jesus Christ? Or was their “religion” one of rules, prohibitions, and guilt? If the latter, you did not get a true picture of who God is or how He sees you. You may have even grown up seeing God as a demanding ogre who was ready to slap you down the moment you stepped out of line. You may have grown up thinking that you had to earn God’s love. If so, it’s likely that you believe that your value is entirely on your performance. Ladies, we can never EARN our way into Heaven. Thank God we don’t have to! We’ve already been given full access!
2. How Much of God’s Light Was in the Culture Around You?
If your childhood environment was strongly influenced by apathy and/or antagonism against God, the Bible, and Christianity, you definitely got a skewed view of the value God sees in you. Our increasingly secular society has moved from believing that each person has intrinsic worth, to declaring that a person’s value is determined by circumstance and factors. To some, an unwanted fetus has no value. For others, persons with mental illness have no value. To still others, people behind prison walls have no value. And to some, only those achieving fame and fortune have value. The truth: God views YOU as incredibly valuable, simply because He created you.
3. How Much of God’s Light Came Through Your Peers?
What kinds of friends did you hang out with as a child and teen? How did you and your college friends fill your time? Were your peers interested in helping you to further your walk with Jesus? Or did they influence you to push Him to the sidelines? If your friends were living in darkness, they helped to block God’s light in your life.
Are you still allowing your peers to dictate how you feel about yourself? We will continue to feel diminished until we rightly sense just how valuable we are to God. Gals, we can protest our worthiness until we’re blue in the face—but we will NEVER change God’s mind on the subject!
Accept God’s Light of Grace
“No way can God love me,” you might be thinking. “He just puts up with me because I have accepted Jesus as my savior. God only forgives my sins because He has to, not because He wants to. God will never really love me. Maybe when I get to Heaven, but not now. For now, He’s just putting up with me.”
NOT! God DIGS us! We have only to look at Jesus to know this is true. In every single encounter Jesus had with people, His words and actions repeated one simple message: I HAVE COME TO PROVE THE VALUE GOD SEES IN YOU!
On the days you’re not feeling great about yourself, choose to step OUT the shadows and into God’s unconditional love. Claim it. Believe it. Courageously live as the beautiful portrait God already sees!
See you next week, when we walk through the 10 emotional needs that we go through life trying to get met. Don’t miss that post!
Our 12-Week Journey Through Our True Personal Identity
Part of rightly understanding our true personal identity requires that we know how God sees us. As our loving creator, God says two things to us: “You are my child,” and “You are chosen.” Do you sense God’s heart toward you? Can you wrap you mind around the truth that God was thinking about you before He even created the world?
Let that truth sink into the depth of your heart and mind. It may take a lot of determination on your part, but as you begin to realize just how valuable you are in God’s eyes, you will be able to break the chains that keep you from accepting and loving yourself. You can drop the burden of what other people think — and the judgments you hold for yourself!
During this 12-week blog series, we’ll post about personal identity. Each post will include a song to remind us of the truth of how God sees us. Our song this week is Live Like You’re Loved by Hawk Nelson. Hawk has it exactly right: LIVE LIKE YOU’RE LOVED! STAND IN THE LIGHT!
This blog series is based on Josh’s book See Yourself as God Sees You. It is our prayer that during this series you come to recognize and accept your true personal identity! God couldn’t love you more!