See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
(1 John 3:1 NIV)
Friend to Friend
I became a Christian when I was a teenager. But even after I made a commitment to follow Christ, feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy clung to me like a spider’s sticky web. The dirge of “I’m not good enough” was a song I couldn’t get out of my head. The lies of the enemy created limitations in my life. They were the barbed wire that fenced me in and kept God’s best at bay.
The problem was, I had no idea who I was, what I had, or where I was as a child of God. Oh, I understood that I was going to go to heaven when I left this earth, but what I was supposed to do until I got there had me stumped. I felt that I was always disappointing God, and I was certainly a disappointment to myself. I tried the best I could to be the best I could be, but always fell short.
Eventually I joined the ranks of thousands of Christians before me who settled in the land of in-between: saved from my Egypt—the penalty of sin in the hereafter, but worlds away from my Promised Land—experiencing the abundant life in the here and now. I settled into a stagnant faith, a safe faith, the stuck faith with other defeated believers who falsely saw themselves through a filter of past sins and failures, rather than through the lens of their new identity as a child of God.
After high school I went to college where I met and married an awesome Christian man. About four years later, I became a mom. Life was good, except for this termite-like gnawing in my gut that I just didn’t quite measure up to all the other church moms with their smiling faces. (I wonder if you’ve ever felt that way too.)
I walked around with the fear that one day I would be found out—that one day folks would figure out that I wasn’t all I was cracked up to be. I lived under an undefined self-imposed standard of approval.
Childhood echoes of “you’re so ugly” and “what’s wrong with you” and “you can’t do anything right” left me feeling congenitally flawed. I sat in Bible study groups like someone in a hospital waiting room: hoping for the best but expecting the worst. My greatest fear was that I’d be no closer to being free of the insecurity than I was before the study began.
When I was in my mid-thirties, I sat under the teaching of an older woman in my church, Mary Marshal Young. She opened my eyes to the truths in Scripture about who I was, what I had, and where I was (my position) as a child of God. I had read those verses scattered throughout Scripture before, but when she encouraged me to cluster them together into one list, God began a new work in my heart.
You are a saint.
You are chosen.
You are dearly loved.
You are holy.
These truths were right there on the pages of my Bible in black and white and a few in red.
You are reconciled through Christ’s life.
You are justified by Christ’s blood.
You are free from condemnation through Christ’s death.
You have the mind of Christ.
You can do all things through Christ.
I knew the verses were the infallible Word of God, but I felt rather squeamish hearing them, reading them, believing them.
They didn’t feel right.
They didn’t sound right.
They made me downright uncomfortable.
And all the while I was studying about my true identity, the devil taunted me with accusations. Who do you think you are? A saint? Are you kidding? This stuff might be true for some people, but it certainly is not true about you.
One day God asked me an important question—one that He is asking you right now. Who are you going to believe?
I was at a crossroads, one you might be standing at this very moment. Was I going to believe God and begin seeing myself as God saw me, or was I going to continue believing the lies of the enemy and the echoes of my past? Was I going to remain stuck in a stagnant faith because I was too insecure to take a step toward the abundant life that Jesus had promised, or was I going to march confidently around the walls of my inadequacies until they came tumbling down?
Finally, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. “God, I’m going to believe I am who You say I am,” I prayed. “I don’t feel it. I can barely think it. But I’m going to believe Your Word is true for me and about me.”
And that’s what I’m challenging you to do today. Let go of your insecurities and take hold of your true identity. Will you join me? If so, leave a comment and say, “I’m taking hold of God’s truth!”
Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me to be your child. Today, I am choosing to believe that I am who You say that I am—a holy, dearly loved, child of Yours who is equipped by You, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and enveloped in Jesus Christ.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you noticed that it is easier to believe what God says about Himself than what God says about you? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). We read those words and shout, “Amen! Hallelujah! Woo-hoo!” But He also said, “YOU are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14). Hmmm. Not a lot of shouting going on with that one. So which is it? Both! Are you going to believe what Jesus said is true about you?
Write down these three truths on an index card and make them yours today.
I am the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13
I am the light of the world. Matthew 5:14
I am completely forgiven. Ephesians 1:7
More from the Girlfriends
One of my greatest passions is to help women live fully and free in Christ. It drives my writing, my speaking, my ministry. One thing that helped me begin the journey of living fully and free was discovering the truth of my identity in Christ. Over at www.sharonjaynes.com, I have a laminated card filled with verses to help you take hold of the truth of who you really are. This, my friend, is who God says you are—completely forgiven, dearly loved, and free of condemnation. While you’re there, check out my new book, Lovestruck: Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon.