How Do You Define Yourself?
In this world, we are so often told that we are not good enough -- we are not worthy. I've felt that so much in my own life. I've been told that by family, teachers, friends, and yes, even church leaders.
As a youngster, I wasn't athletic, or popular, or particularly good at anything. I was certainly never an exceptional student; in fact, I wasn't even an average student. I struggled with the basics of science and for endless hours at the kitchen table, mother at my side, battled through the times tables. My fingers weren't quick enough to type well, and with an exceptionally poor memory, I couldn't retain historical dates or geographical locations. In high school, I was given a passing grade in basic "phase-two" math with a promise to never take any mathematics course again. I eagerly complied -- that is, until university where I was compelled to take a statistics course. I passed.
Though I knew I was loved by my family, I never really felt liked by too many others. An out-cast of sorts, not worthy of praise or recognition, but a quiet wall-flower who watched the world pass her by. This wasn't the whole truth, but this was my understanding of it at the time.
I believe that many of my cohorts would confess this to be their story as well. Likely, too, many of those whom I would have deemed as popular and successful. This is how the evil one works, even in the lives of those who don't believe in him. His goal is to keep us away from Truth.
What is the truth? Who am I anyway?
I am created in the image of God. (God created man in his own image...Genesis 1:27)
I am loved (For God so loved the world...John 3:16)
I love because he loves. (We love because he first loved us... John 4:19)
I have a purpose. (For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works...Ephesians 2:10)
Like the prodigal son, I am welcomed. (But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him...Luke 15:20)
I am purchased. My sins, wickedness, and evil -- my mistakes (even my white lies) are paid for. (He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.1 John 2:2).
I am that valuable.
And that's even before I accept his compassionate gift. Having accepted the gift of forgiveness, I've become so much more.
... a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
... an heir (Galatians 4:7)
... free (Galatians 5:1)
... redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
... united with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17)
... sealed with the promise of Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
... God's temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Truth is, you are loved, so much in fact, that Jesus died for you. You are worth that much to him.
Over the years, I have come into my own, much to the strength and power of God's Spirit within me. I no longer dwell on my most deficient moments, but embrace each challenge as an opportunity for Jesus to do great things through me, his vessel -- and then I celebrate the victories. I smile even as I think of how many there have been.
Here is the truth:
Satan wants you to define yourself by your greatest disappointments and failures.
Jesus paid for all those failures.
The Spirit seals the deal.
God defines you as worthy of the sacrifice that's been made for you.
Choose him, and define yourself the way he does.
I am a much loved, child of God. I'm redeemed and not defined by any of my faults, great or small, but by possibilities. I have God-given talents that I'm free to choose to use for him or for myself. I have access to more power and ability than I'd ever imagined because the Spirit of God lives inside of me. I'm an heir to the greatest endowment in history, part of a royal priesthood and alive in Christ Jesus.
Who are you?