If there is any one factor that will drastically affect how you live out your relationship with Christ it is your identity or how you view yourself. Understanding who you are is vital to understanding the way you should live. If this part is (too) broken then there is much of the Christian life that will not make sense or it will be distorted so that my practice warps truth to fit my dysfunctional ideas.
Value or worth – if, for example you (we) have a very poor perspective of your own sense of value or worth it is very difficult to live out the Christian life. Every adventure will be plagued with doubts, self-criticism and worthlessness. There is the mental games that my participation means very little and I can’t make a difference in anyone’s life.
God’s Response: The gospel, Christ’s death burial and resurrection, has changed my standing from being an enemy and adversary of God to becoming a dearly beloved child of God (John 1:12), we now are friends with Christ (John 15:15), we have been justified before the Father (Rom. 5:1), I belong to Christ (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and we are saints (Eph. 1:1) to name a few. We must learn to think and view ourselves the way God does not how we have learned in our dysfunctional world.
Insecurity – we live in an ever changing world and it is very easy to feel vulnerable and anxious about our daily experiences and being in harm’s way. The world is becoming an unsettled situation on a global scale and this can make us worry about the safety and security of your own future or sometimes your kids or grandkids. This surfaces in our lives in many ways but often seen in those who are always fearful about everything. These are usually the people who are always thinking of the worst thing they think will happen. Others are just pessimistic and anxious because they internalize the chaos they hear on the news each night and wonder when it is going to happen to them.
God’s Response: But true “security” is not found in our circumstances or situations but in Christ. We often have to re-learn to think about security differently but God’s view of our security is anchored in eternity not our passing circumstances. We are told in the Bible that we are forever free from condemnation (Rom. 8:1-2), we are assured everything works together for good to those who love God (Rom. 8:28), we cannot be separated from God’s love (Rom. 8:35-39), we are hidden in Christ until He returns to receive us (Col. 3:3), God will never stop His work in us to make us like Christ (Phil. 1:6), we are citizens of heaven (Phil. 1:6), we have been given a spirit of power, love and sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) and we can always find grace and mercy in time of need (Heb. 4:16). We have the eternal resources of God to provide ultimate security in our lives. Why do we often fear men when we should reverence the One who can destroy body and soul in hell (Matt. 10:28).
Significance – if there is anything that will kill or destroy our freedom in Christ (at least in our personal mindset and confidence) is buying into the lie that I am not significant. Paul dealt with this in 2 Cor. 10:12 –
For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
When we spend our life comparing ourselves to others or setting up our own standards to measure my “success” or “failure” in life we will often come short. There is always others who cannot do things as well as we can and there is always others who can do it better. It is a dead end street (except for those who want to prove they are equal or better than others – they like the idea of competing to prove others wrong).
God’s Response: we are the salt of the earth (Matt.5:13-14), we are a channel of Christ’s life (John 15:5), we have been chosen by Christ to bear fruit (John 15:16), I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16), and I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10). We must learn to embrace our identity that God gives to us not the world or family or the identity we have embraced that we think will give us value. Learn to accept what God has done for you and what He says is true about your life.