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Three False Identities Christians Can Believe

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is your true self. Every other identity is illusion.”

Brennan Manning

I recently read Bill and Kristi Gaultiere’s book called Journey of the Soul. They list three false identities or lies we can believe, instead of having our identity be in Christ.

  • “I am what I do.”

  • “I am what I have.”

  • “I am what people say about me.”

I have struggled with each of these at various times in my life. The Apostle John speaks of these as worldly temptations in 1 John 2:16: “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievement and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world” (NLT).

If we believe as the core of our identity that we are what we do, then we will live from a performance mentality. We will constantly be working (ministry or otherwise) and trying to earn our way into God’s kingdom. We will struggle with never being able to do enough and it will be impossible to work from a position of rest on our heavenly Father’s lap.

If we believe our possessions are what gives us significance, then we will continually be working to acquire more and more. We’ll be competing with the Joneses, always trying to outdo someone else. Owning the best status symbols in life will not bring us peace or contentment.

If we believe we are the sum product of what people say about us, then we will live a life of people-pleasing. There’s a reason Proverbs 29:25 says fear of man is a snare. When we place our trust and our personhood in the hands of others’ comments about us, we will never be secure enough to be free to be who God created us to be.

But what if our identity was fully banked in the Father’s absolute and unconditional love for us? What if we felt and lived from the same identity the Apostle John believed in: “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” It’s only as we abide in the Father’s love that we can love others well. Try an experiment for the next few days. Throughout the day say aloud, “I am the disciple Jesus loves.” Notice how your belief in that secure identity brings changes to your life.

“God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.”

Brennan Manning

Relevant Reflection:

How would your everyday life be different if you lived from the “I am His beloved” identity?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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