How much time do we take looking at ourselves in a mirror? Why do we do that? Sometimes it is simply to make sure our hair is not messed up or to straighten a tie. Sometimes it is because we want to change something we might not like or to see how we look. During these times we often measure ourselves by what we see and then make a judgement about whether it is good or bad. We do this daily and at times it affects how we view ourselves and our place in the world.
Our identity is often formed in a similar way, we compare ourselves with someone or something outside of ourselves and then make a judgement whether it is good or bad. We then feel good or bad by the judgments we make regarding our view of our self.
I read an author, Dennis McCallum, who expressed it this way; “Suppose nothing existed in the universe except you. There you are floating in a transparent bubble in the midst of infinite, empty space. What would your identity be? What would you consider important? Suppose you asked yourself, ‘Would I be considered tall or short?’ Tall or short compared to what? Ideas like tall and short or smart or dense come from your perception of yourself relative to others. The point is your sense of identity depends on definitions and values that originate outside of yourself.”
The problem with establishing our identity this way is that our reference points are also relative and finite. How do I know what the standard is and what can be considered as real or true?
Often when you meet someone for the first time one of the first questions that is asked is “what do you do?” It is a question that we ask to break the ice and to get a point of reference regarding how to relate with this new person. Most of the time the answers will be, “I’m a plumber, or I’m a banker or I’m a teacher”. We state that we are what we do. While we would not say that is the total of our identity, it is a big part. When those things are gone through job loss or retirement or any other major life change, we can lose our sense of identity. Again, this reference point is outside of our selves.
God is an external reference point, but He is infinite and unlimited, He is also universal or absolute rather than relative. What He says about you and me matters the most since He is that perfect fixed point. For the believer, God has declared a host of things that are true of you and that define you. His view is the true view regardless of how you or I feel or what others say about me. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “When people measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.” So the question is, what does God say about me? Glad you asked. Here are but a few of the things that God says are true of you.
You are in Christ, that means you are identified with Him. This took place when you first believed the Gospel and trusted Christ as your savior. The Creator of the universe views you as having the same standing before Him as his Son Jesus does! This was something that God did and is now true of you as His child. This is true because God says it is true. “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Romans 6:4-5) And His opinion is the one that matters.
Another truth is that because you have been justified (declared legally righteous), you now have peace with God. This is something that will never go away no matter what you do since you did nothing to get it! (Romans 5:1) As a result you are now looked on with favor and there is no condemnation! (Romans 8:1)
There are so many more truths about you and who God says you are. It is a journey of joy as you investigate God’s word to discover what He thinks. Our God is a creator God, He makes all things new. The old things have passed away, behold new things have come – and that includes you and me. So embark on a journey of discovery, look into God’s Word, and learn about this wonderful new creation called “you”.