Who determines who you are? What markers help you ascertain whether you are on track to becoming who you want to be? What does the Bible have to say?
There are a myriad of voices clamoring to get our attention and influence us for good or not so good. The challenge is partly one of assessing which voice(s) we will listen to and how much stock we give to their message.
For example, from where does one develop their self-esteem? Parents? Siblings? Extended family? School? Neighbors? Friends? Teachers? How does someone develop their self-respect and self-acceptance?
I believe that God and parents supply the most significant imprints of self-respect and dignity to each person. God as Creator has the deepest and broadest impact on who we are since He designed us from scratch. Our parents partner with God to help us come into the world and their voice and beliefs about us should matter most, while other human beings such as those listed above should and can add reinforcement to who we are.
Scripture reveals and indicates that our Father in heaven, like all loving parents, wants us to be secure in who we are and feel good about ourselves. But as sovereign Creator, He declares our identity and stability depends on who He says we are. The danger we often experience arrives when we stray from God’s perspective of who we were created to be by allowing lesser voices to sway us from His view of us.
We often misunderstand God’s view of us and that leads to being restricted from reaching our God-given destiny or purpose. Yet God’s opinion and value of us is much richer and much more meaningful than the short-lived and illusionary prospects fellow mortals and human society tends to present to us.
Sadly, many of us succumb to human ideas and standards where our well-being and identity is defined by achievement, beauty, intelligence, money, popularity, possessions, and power. But we often learn too late in life that if those are our values for measuring ourselves, we are in trouble. They are superficial and misleading, because our net worth is not equal to the sum total of our appearance, our abilities, and our bank account.
Hopefully, we will not step into the comparison trap that tries to convince us to feel bad about ourselves because we don’t rate so well with others in the areas like appearance and achievement. Here is where Scripture can again aid us in remembering a heavenly perspective about who we are.
Read Jeremiah 9:23-24.
The prophet Jeremiah reminds us that our identity and self-esteem should be rooted in what God says about us. The daily struggle we all face is between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God. Are we people of integrity or driven by financial success and monetary accumulation? Are we concerned more about what we get from others or what we invest in others? Do we seek to rise above our circumstances with God’s help and live purposefully or yield to them as helpless fear-filled victims? Whose voice matters most to us?
Walk wisely. Our character can impact how we feel about our ourselves. That is why we need character developed by obedience to God which will make a difference in who we are.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz