If we have accepted Christ as our Savior and repented of our sins, then we belong to Him; we are forgiven, redeemed and new creations.
However, it seems that knowing we belong to Christ, knowing that we are coheirs, knowing that we are made righteous, does not make us instantly peaceful and joyous with who we are. But, why is that?
When we think of self-esteem, confidence and identity, we know we are to be secure in knowing we are God’s, we are chosen, we are beloved. But our flesh will dictate otherwise. We tend to look at our worldly identity more than our spiritual identity; where we live, where we come from, our marital status, our weight, occupation, education … you get the picture.
How we perceive ourselves mostly depends on who we believe.....do we believe God or the world? There is an obvious gap between what we should believe about ourselves and what we actually do believe about ourselves. This results in a colossal number of Christians walking around with severe anxiety, depression and stress. We take the opinions of others as gospel instead of believing the Gospel. On top of that, when we speak to other Christians about improving or discovering ourselves, it is often met with a little pushback. It is misunderstood as self promotion instead of a desire to be free from fear and pain. I don’t believe discovering yourself has to be against God‘s will. I actually think the phrase “finding myself” can actually mean “I am going to look within myself, find the strengths that God has gifted me with and grow in them to glorify him and to have a joyous life.”
So here is the meat and potatoes of this blog. I adopted a mindset from years of influence and teaching, in and out of church, that self-care was selfish. I actually thought it sinful and self-promoting. In my legalistic mind I thought I should actually deprive myself, keep my opinions to myself and just exist if I am a truly good Christian, particularly a good Christian woman. This led me to a defeated mindset… which led me to nowhere fast. Anything that would get me excited to prosper , that would promote self esteem or personal growth was immediately labeled as detrimental and avoided because of my fear of rejection and judgement.
I know that I am created in his image. Does he want me to develop my gifts and become a useful servant at my best? Or does he want me to stifle my gifts, be quiet and simply let life happen? I know it’s a dance between humility and growth. But how can we know what our purpose is, who he made us to be, and how we will contribute to life here if we are too afraid to dig deep and reveal our identities? We are all unique. God is NOT intimidated (people are!) by our developing self worth when he knows that he is the source ! He delights in us.( most people don’t.)
When your child desires to play a sport, sing in a choir or dance a recital, you don’t hesitate to encourage them! As parents, we like to see our kids find their niche, develop their skill sets and thrive. How much more does our Abba father desire to cheer us on as we discover, layer by layer, who he made us to be, what gifts he has bestowed upon us, and how successful we can be? Don’t forget the source of your Power and gifting! But don’t stifle your individuality and strengths either. Develop them! Embrace them! God gifted you with your tenacity, ability and strengths. Use these things to their fullest because you are all the things he says you are! And please do not let people snuff out your enthusiasm just because they disagree with you! Know who you are and love who you are!
So, to summarize, humility is different from stagnation! Set goals. Work towards them making sure your goals align with scripture.
You may be wondering how to do that.
It is important to study God‘s word. It is vital to understand that we do everything for his glory, to bring him praise and honor. This will definitely affect our goals, but with right knowledge , God promises to prosper us in ways that bring us closer to him and grow his kingdom.
Keep growing in every way possible… Spiritually through studying scripture, intellectually through awareness, physically through right eating and care for your body and personally through praying for God to reveal who you are! What are your gifts? strengths?purpose?
Surrender to God’s will, but don’t lie down, roll over and cower. God does not want us to merely exist! We are His pride and joy! He’s watching us and cheering us on!
Stop putting limitations on yourself! Stand up, look ahead and move forward! The kingdom starts here, right now. Being in the kingdom of God is a state of existence, not an end of life goal. It’s not meant to be merely a destination after we die, like most of us were raised to believe. It’s just the beginning of eternity, so live it to fullest. It’s never too late to peel back the layers and discover who you are in Christ. You are a gifted masterpiece! Start living like it!
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago
2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.