Last week, I began a series about being true to yourself. No, I’m not talking about the self-love hippy dippy nonsense. I’m talking about boldly confronting yourself and making a choice—the choice to acknowledge who you are today, admit your shortcomings, see your potential, and move forward towards what God desires for you. We’ve already talked about recognizing the real you. Today, we tackle the next step.
Acknowledge Who You Are
Allowing yourself to think honestly about who you are can be quite the task, but it takes a bit more effort to accept the truths you find and acknowledge who you are, to yourself and to others. It’s easy to ask yourself what you enjoy, what makes you tick, and why you have certain tendencies. It’s a lot more difficult to say “I’m impatient,” “I care a lot about what certain people think of me,” or “I have potential I’m not realizing.”
You need to acknowledge where you are before you can get somewhere else. Nobody ever got good at playing the guitar by saying “learning guitar seems neat.” No. They first had to acknowledge their lack of ability, then let that drive them to learn. Only then did they grow and change for the better, gaining something new and valuable. The same holds true for character.
Words Have Power
I’ve noticed that the smallest of phrases can sometimes make a huge difference in living more authentically. When I got saved, I realized God had given me a heart for people I didn’t have before. So I started saying “thank you” a lot more often. I felt convicted to communicate gratitude to people, both as a form of encouragement and an acknowledgement that they met some of my needs. It was part of how I put my salvation into practice.
Another huge one for me was admitting fault or ignorance. Instead of coming up with excuses, I started saying “I was wrong.” Instead of guessing the answer to a question, I started saying “I don’t know.” It was weird at first. I was so used to putting up my guard to keep my pride and ego intact. Now I was fighting against that instinct. At first, it was uncomfortable. Then I realized it was freeing. I could be more honest with myself and others. I didn’t have to pretend. Being me was easier than fitting into the costume of a fictional character who was always right and always smart.
God Made You Special
One essential part of acknowledging who you are is accepting that God created and loves you. This is hard for some people. Whether it’s feeling like we’re unwanted, unloved, or unworthy, Christians regularly struggle with their identity in Christ. It’s something we overlook far too often. Here are some truths you can hold onto.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)
God created us. He formed us with love and care, designing a purpose and future for each of us. The Bible is clear about this. Paul reinforces that God not only made us, but predestined us for salvation and worship.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”Ephesians 1:3-6 (ESV)
The most important part of our identity in Christ is the work Christ did on the cross. This is when God truly proved his love for us and put it on magnificent display.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”John 3:16-17 (ESV)
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8 (ESV)
Jesus is the proof of God’s ultimate love for us. The cross is where God’s goodness and mercy finally win over mankind’s wickedness, forgiveness wins over judgement, and we gain new life in Christ rather than being condemned to death. Praise God for all that was accomplished. So what do we do now?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.”John 15:5, 10-11, 16a (ESV)
We obey. We follow. We live our new lives for Christ. It only makes sense. He gave us a second chance. He loved us from the very beginning and saved us despite our rebellion and hatred for him. Now that our eyes are open, we look to God and do our very best with the short time we have to serve and worship our Lord. So acknowledge who you are, but more importantly, acknowledge what God has done for you, how he loves you, and what he desires for your life. Only there will you find true purpose and peace.
Next time, we’ll look at what it means to take the knowledge of who you truly are and move forward unto action. Let me know your thoughts about this series in the comments below. Enter your email if you want to be notified when my next post goes live. Thanks for reading. Godspeed.