Day 4 of the @YouVersion Plan Reclaiming Sanity. Check it out here:
Identity – Who Defines Us
We are not defined by who others think or say we are. We are not even who we have worked so hard to be or believe we are.
Honors, corporate ladders, and titles are all man-made distinctions—and distractions.
God is not more pleased with gold tassels than with those who care for the poor or feed the hungry.
In Matthew 20, Jesus told the parable of the workers in the vineyard. He described the kingdom of heaven as being like a landowner who went out to hire workers for his vineyard. Although the workers were hired at different times throughout the day, they were all paid the same. Why? Because they each had agreed to work for that amount. The landowner was completely fair to each person, challenging the grumbling workers by asking them if they were envious that he was being generous.
Jesus stated in verse 16, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” We American Christians have trouble accepting this as the standard for us too.
Surely this can’t be right. We can’t possibly all receive the same grace from God, can we?
Doesn’t it matter who we are in this world?
Don’t we have to be somebody?
The truth is that we are who God says we are, and God says a lot about us. Look at a few verses from the book of Ephesians: Ephesians 1:4 says God chose us.
(Verse 5 & 6 -He adopted us)
Ephesians 1:7 tells us we are forgiven.
Ephesians 2:10 states we are His workmanship (not our own).
Let’s not stop here. We learn in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that we are God’s temple, in John 1:12 that we are God’s children, and in John 15:15 that we are friends of Jesus.
Oh, sisters (and brothers), the Bible tells us a lot about who we are as believers in Christ.
We cannot allow the world or even well-meaning friends and family to wrongly define and label us. When you start to hear that lying voice in your head saying you are not good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, or that you are not smart enough, that you deserved that horrible thing that happened to you, stop right there and tell yourself (yell it out loud if you have to):
“No, I am not stupid. I am God’s workmanship!”
“No, I am not unloved or unwanted. I am a friend of Jesus!”
“No, I do not deserve to be abused. I am a temple of God!”
Sometimes the lying voice you hear is your own, and Christ wants to be heard above it.
My aunt Lib reminded me of this years ago. When I was in the throes of my doctoral program, Aunt Lib, in the midst of the evermore laborious journey of cancer treatment, called to tell me how proud she was of me. But instead of talking so much about her pride in my educational accomplishments, she shared how she was most proud of me for accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and for seeking to follow Him.
You see, accomplishments (while they should be celebrated) are not what make us good enough. What makes us enough is that we are transformed by the mercies of Christ Jesus.
(Taken from: Reclaiming Sanity
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