God intended that our true identity would be revealed and sealed in our human spirit through the witness of the Holy Spirit, as we walk in covenant with God as followers of Jesus: He says that I am a child of God, valuable and loved.
Unfortunately the experiences of life have brought many other distorting messages from the world, deep into our hearts, very often causing us to believe that our identity is far from what God has declared. When people have consistently treated us badly, especially when we were children, we eventually conclude that their attitude towards us must surely define who we are. Driven by our carnality, our conclusion, even of a distorted identity, seems, somehow, to make sense of the painful experiences.
Mephibosheth, crippled as a child due to family strife and carelessness, displays a false and very degrading self-image when he is summoned before David, even though he has been called to be honoured and treated as if he were the king’s son.
‘And he bowed himself, and said, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?” (2 Samuel 9:8).
I’m a victim, I’m a nobody, I’m an outsider, I’m a mistake, I’m useless, I’m just bad. These and many other false identities affect the lives of countless people, driving their attitudes and behaviours, frequently strengthened by the enemy’s power as we agree with his lies. As Christians, we may try to deal with these painful notions of our identity by pushing them away, almost abandoning part of ourselves, in order to try to present an acceptable image to those around us. Unfortunately this tears us apart on the inside!
God wants to restore within us the security of our true identity.
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