Identity theft comes in many ways. Ever feel useless? Worthless? Like you are just taking up space? Often it comes from someone else but sometimes we steal it from ourselves.
We look in the mirror and see something completely different than others may...and even with what others see, it may not be what God does. Check out this surprising video about how we view ourselves may not be accurate...and consider how God might complete that second picture of you. We'll see you below.
While this video focuses on the visual or cosmetic (& God sees much more than this as important), what is interesting is the difference in how we look at ourselves and how we are perceived by others. And, most importantly, how does God perceive us?
As Christians, we believe people have value because of God. So how do we value ourselves as God does? The Bible, often called God's word, is the place to look for this. It is there that we can get to know who He is but also what counsel He would give us for living life and discovering who we are.
In there, He reminds us that despite what the world's values are (or our's), when we feel most despised, each of us is more than we can ever know...because He created us. We become enslaved to others' values or we create idolatry in putting our view of our self above even God's. In Galatians 4:9, in the midst of a passage about being enslaved, we gain some insight for living free:
But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?(Emphasis mine.)
We learn a couple things from this passage...
You're value does not come from your knowing God...from the power you have to lean upon Him, comprehend Him or even to trust in Him. It comes from that He has known you. That He knows your sins, your failures, your wrinkly skin, your blemish, your overweight or too skinny stature, your personality quirk others' laugh at...whatever it might be, He already knows it.
Yet, in love, He sent His Son for you. That in all your ugliness, He'll hold you when the rest of the world rejects or denies you. Because when you put your faith in Christ, He sees His Son's covering over all the ugly pieces of yourself and refers to you in the same way He does His Son when the Father said (at Jesus' baptism):“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Mark 1:11).
Can you imagine the Creator of all things...the most beautiful of far-flung galaxies, the greatest acts of justice, the most engaging of sunsets, the cutest of babies...saying such words to you?
But the other idea in this passage is that we should not be enslaved by the wrong views. This might be from others, our self, our culture, or even the Devil (Satan, which means "accuser"). Sometimes the Devil's accusation comes in various ways such as "They're right about you, you know." We must battle to remove, or not listen to, such things so that we may take every thought captive for Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). In that we may begin to transform our thinking to view ourselves as He would (Rom. 12:2).
When the picture you see is not God's, there are a few things we can do. Sometimes we need to get alone with God and pray. Or spend time in the Bible to get a view of what God would lead us to or even who He is (so we don't wrongly perceive Him). Or humble our self and invite others to pray. Or we can speak (& hear) truth in love. And so on.
These encourage us in that journey...and that is where Christ's body, the church, comes in. We prop each other up when we can barely stand, remind each other of the truth of who we are in Christ, inspire one another that one day His kingdom will fully come on earth as it is in heaven, and we help one another in our moments of greatest need.
So don't let others, the Devil or even yourself steal your identity in Christ. May you see His eternal message of His love and value to you in Jesus Christ and turn from the temporary message that you are not worthy.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -- 2 Cor. 4:18
If you'd like to read more on this or check out another interesting video, check out our previous post called "Can You See It?: For Those Who are Weary..."