A little shoutout to all those who dress their pets up for the holidays!
I find it interesting to observe how each pet feels about their costume.
Some pets look as unhappy as this one. Yet, other pets are energized because they feel like they have a new identity.
So why this thought? Because each of us has a sense of identity that affects how we see and interact with others.
And when we began to question our God-given identity, even temporarily, it will show.
Here are some examples of how we often demonstrate our changing identity:
Jealousy is basing my identity on what others have and I don’t.
Pride is basing my identity on an exaggerated sense of who I am.
Fear is basing my identity on anything other than God’s sovereignty.
Paganism is basing my identity on the powers of this world.
Lying is basing my identity on controlling the truth.
Stealing is basing my identity on my wants.
Insecurity is basing my identity on what I believe others might think.
Sexual sin is basing my identity on achieving my sexual desires outside God’s ways.
Impatience is basing my identity on my importance and priorities.
Self–pity is basing my identity on how I think I am unfairly treated.
Anger is basing my identity on getting my will or way.
Timidity is basing my identity on my low sense of worth.
Greed or coveting is basing my identity on what I don’t have yet.
Discouragement is basing my identity on circumstances.
Addictions are finding my identity in temporary comfort and then finding it unsatisfying.
Anxiety is basing my identity on what I can control.
Certainly our marriage relationship is both positively and negatively impacted by the identities we actually hold.
That is why it is so important for each spouse to settle the identity questions, reaffirm each other’s identity daily and guard their biblical identity, as if it were a great treasure.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
As a Christian, our identity should be based in what the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit continually affirm to us in the scriptures and often in our hearts. It is an identity that comes from our Maker, the one who knows us despite our attempts to hide.
It is an unchanging identity that I can build a life upon.
This is no shifting sand of identity but a rock solid identity that can be trusted.
Our identity from God is based on a love that accepts us as we are but wants to see us changed. It is based on truth and yet accepts all of me.
And beautifully, our acceptance by God doesn’t leave us when we fail, it doesn’t pile on us in our mess and it doesn’t let us get by with vain excuses.
Instead it inspires us to try, fail, get up, keep walking and find the abundant life because we know we are children of the living God.
Questions to discuss with each other about Identity
Which of the examples of false identity above do I see commonly in my life?
What does God’s word say to contradict my examples of false identity?
If my identity was 80% based on what God says, what would be the impact in my life?