This is not intended to be a dissertation on the topic…just quick thoughts on a Thursday morning. There’s way more that could be said by people smarter and wiser than me. So take anything good and toss the rest 🙂
If you’ve read my blogs over the last year or two you have probably noticed that I’ve been having an identity crisis. I’ve been working through who I am, who God made me to be and what that means. In short, I’ve been trying to get okay with myself.
In doing so I’ve worried that I’m becoming too humanistic, too focused on myself and listening to counsel that may or may not be biblical. I’ve given this lots of thought and have talked to God about all of this. I never want to stray outside of what He calls good and I certainly don’t want to make any excuses for attitudes or behaviors that don’t rightly reflect who He is.
The conclusion I’ve arrived at is this: it matters whether or not our hearts are healthy and whether or not we can embrace who we are as God made us.
One reason it matters is that if we don’t we will never be able to fulfill not only our calling specifically, but the general call to all of us to love God and love others. This is God’s will for your life. Love Him, love your neighbor. That might look different in each life, but that’s the basic plan.
To be self-conscious is to be self-focused, self-ish and/or self-protecting. Having a broken heart/soul leads us into all sorts of sin. It’s the birthplace of addiction, arrogance, anger, judgment, etc. it causes us to think only of ourselves and how we are being treated, how we feel, how we appear to others and how a given situation affects us.
That is the very opposite of what the life of Christ in us would look like. The answers aren’t too complicated, though that doesn’t mean it’s easy to change. We have to be honest with ourselves and let our attitudes and behaviors serve as warning signals of deeper issues.
That perfectionism? Not okay.
That insecurity? Not okay.
Defense mechanisms? Nope.
Think you’re okay because you’re doing it better than the people around you? Uh-oh.
Self-hatred? Definitely not okay.
Does it mean you don’t know Jesus if you have any of the above issues or one of the many other possibilities? No way. It just means you’re still in the process of sanctification, so you’re basically in the same boat the rest of us are. You’re not alone. This boat is filled to overflow capacity.
Positive self-talk isn’t the only answer and having a cheering section is good, but it won’t totally rid you of your problem. The answer can only be found in knowing God. The more we know Him, His character and His heart, the more we can be confident in who we are. Because we were His idea and and He doesn’t make junk, or throwaways, or seconds to be sold at the thrift store.
I do think there is value in examining where we are, what’s bugging us, what’s holding us back. What do you and I believe about ourselves and why? Do we need to forgive anybody? Are we holding grudges? Making judgments? Feel dirty? Afraid? What is it? We can ask Him to show us and He will.
Then we take it to Him and deal with it. Forgive, release, worship, receive mercy, see His heart toward you in your pain. Pray with a friend. Let someone else demonstrate His love toward you. Increase His value in your eyes. Stop looking in the mirror and look at Him. Find yourself in Him.
Many of us have deep scars, but rather than being defined by your pain or your past, let Him redefine you by mercy, so that when you look at your scars you see grace.
You are His grace-scarred beloved one.