I had spent all my life with what I call, a case of mistaken identity (a situation in which I thought a particular person, aka, me was someone else). Yes, and for many of us, the same is true. We have identified ourselves through the lens of lies and experiences the enemy throws our way. It started in 5th grade for me.
For some reason, my teacher was not very fond of me and took every opportunity to let me and the entire class know about how she felt. There were countless times she would publicly embarrass me in class (it didn’t dawn on me to skip school…lol). I was made to feel stupid, unwanted, unimportant and basically less than every kid in my class, just downright worth-LESS. I don’t know how I survived such mental and emotional abuse, not one but, two years straight. I had this particular teacher for 5th and 6th grade, and that takes a toll on a kid. When you are continuously treated insignificantly by someone in a position of influence, you start believing that you are not special or valuable. You believe the lie that God has favorites and you are not one of them. It sinks deep into the recess of your being, your thoughts, your relationships are now tainted from the lies of insignificance and ever interaction is filtered with such lens. It affects your attitude, your self-esteem, your sense of identity, and more importantly, your relationship with your Heavenly Father.
How can I believe that God loves me and how can I trust Him if He plays favorites?
I fought internal battles within myself for many years because I never felt good enough, smart enough, strong enough, special enough, valuable enough and significant enough. I have carried many insecurities from those painful childhood years into much of my life without insight and the ability to unearth such deep wounds. It is very hard to see what truth is presented if we are not aware we are believing a lie.
The lie is our truth until it has been exposed.
Truth can only shine when we acknowledge there is darkness.
The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). That is just what I needed, an internal surgery. A surgeon to come in and cut away the deep-rooted, hidden, and destructive thought patterns of lies that had camped out in my psyche. To dismantle attitudes, habits, and mindsets that were contrary to what the Lord thought of me. If you want to know what lies you are believing, dive into the word of God. It will shine a light in every area of darkness in your mind and heart. It reveals the truth about you. About who you really are, whose you are, your worth, your significance, who your Heavenly Father is and His thoughts towards you.
The word of God changed my life. Everything my teacher said about me, everything I believed for so many years was a heist, a set-up by the enemy to side-track, derail, to obliterate, and abort my destiny and purpose. If you don’t already know this, you have an enemy who has been cooking up and conniving your demise. He has been strategizing a way to kill, steal and destroy you and he will use anyone or anything to do it. BUT don’t get stuck on the means he uses. For me, it was my 5th Grade Teacher. For you, it could be a childhood memory, a sibling, your very own parents, an ex, or an abusive situation, and the list goes on.
You and I are God’s handiwork recreated in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). I know you heard this verse before, but do you understand its powerful truth? The Lord has a plan for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). You were thought of by your Heavenly Father even while in your mother’s womb and He fashioned you together purposefully, creatively, perfectly, and uniquely set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5). You were thought out by God himself with the specificities that make you uniquely you. God created your inmost parts and knitted you together in the womb. That means God even thought of our unique personalities, the things that make you authentically you. (Psalm 139:13), Wow! I don’t have to copy anyone. I can confidently resolve to be me. You were not a second thought, but precisely and purposefully made by the Creator of the Universe Himself. He poured the very best of Himself into you (Genesis 1:27). There is no doubt about it that you and I are on his mind. He makes it very clear by sacrificing His ONLY Son so we are sure, certain, confident that we are unbelievably loved, special, valuable and oh so very significant.
It really didn’t hit me until I read these words profoundly articulated by Heidi St John, “the most important things I want our children to know is the role they play in God’s story. I want each of my seven children to know God put them on this earth with a unique purpose. Their births were no less significant in God’s economy than the birth of George Washington, Elisabeth Elliot, Martin Luther King Jr or any person you deem important.” Their lives are precious, and I want them to know why. I want our children to learn about men and women who followed God throughout history (as well as about those who rejected Him) because I want them to see that they are just as much a part of God’s story as anyone else whose picture graces our worn- out timeline”. You are so significant that you made it on God’s timeline. He knew the time, date, hour, place, parents and every little detail about your birth. Significance is an understatement to the thoughts the Lord has toward you. He calls us His own, Joint-heirs, adopted into his family. (Romans 8:17).
It was then I realized I had misplaced my identity in lies and the Lord has been uncovering His truth over my life as I journeyed with Him in every season of my life. I am so grateful that the Lord chases after us and if we surrender to His word, His truth becomes the final say so in our lives. HIS TRUTH DEFINES US, not our past, not our childhood, no circumstance or situation. We are able to soar beyond the limitations of man and into a place the Lord has prepared for us beforehand.
The case of Significance is one I seem to walk out every day. There are so many mediums that fight to define our significance, our worth, our value, our identity. “The mirrors of life” I call them; magazines, commercials, movies, and social media have tried to rewrite our significance. We find ourselves having a sense of accomplishment by measuring our worth and significance by how many followers, likes and comments we have on social media platforms. Social media has changed the game for many of us, it has put us in front of the mirror of life, to look deep inwardly to find the answer to a frequently asked question: How do I measure my worth and significance? Which mirror are you looking at? Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to propose that there is another mirror, a mirror that is not plastered over many medias but believe me when I say it’s the most important mirror you will ever look at, it’s the mirror of God’s word. When you look to that mirror, you will see the REAL YOU, the TRUE YOU. This truth is not tainted, prejudice, cultural, changing or popular, but profound and will change your life.
This truth has set me free; man’s acceptance or rejection of me is not a direct reflection of God’s heart towards me, nor is man’s approval or critique of me a direct reflection of God’s thoughts toward me. My significance cannot rest on the shoulders of people’s praises. My significance cannot be measured by people’s opinions. My Significance should and must be ANCHORED in the one whose foundation is secure. God’s truth about me trumps everyone’s opinion of me.
I had to walk through forgiveness many times from my 5th-grade teacher. I didn’t know I had that much forgiveness in me but it freed me and healed me. I have exchange lies for His Truth. We should believe what God says about us over anyone’s opinions. God’s word is truth and when it comes to the case of my mistaken identity, I have found my true identity is one of great significance, not more or less than others, but steady and secure in who the Lord has created me to be.
My connection to the world, whether social media or elsewhere, should be one that seeks to give not receive. Whether you post, share, like or comment, let it be from a place of fullness not emptiness, a place that seeks to pour out, not take in and a place that seeks to give not receive. Your resolve steady and secure seeing yourself through your Father’s eyes.
I am in no means anti-social media, but I am aware of the devastating effect these platforms have on our identity, significance, and self-worth. It is pulling on and demanding so much of our attention. It’s stealing away marriages, family time, friendships, our children, face to face connections and our ability to live and truly enjoy the un-photographed moments.
Check out this short video that brings great insight into the effects of social media in our society. THIS VIDEO IS LIFE-CHANGING! Watch it, if not for you, for your children.
***SHARE WITH US***
What’s the mirror you look at to find significance? What or who measures your worth or significance? Does social media affect any area of your life negatively?
~Still Becoming ~