So Who Am I?The real answer to our identity question, is found in God’s eternal truths, not in current cultural norms or others’ expectations. I am who He says I am:
I am chosen (1 Peter 2:9). I am wanted (Psalm 139:13-16). I am loved (1 John 4:9). I am made in God’s own image, wow! (Genesis 1:27). I am intimately known by Him (Jeremiah 1:5).One of the enormous spiritual tasks we face is to claim these eternal truths about our identity, allowing them to penetrate the depths of our hearts and change the way we live our lives. We must align our daily behavior, our daily thoughts, to Truth, putting more weight on what God thinks of me than on what the world thinks of me. Father Henri Nouwen, author of many wonderful books including my favorite, Life of the Beloved, preached three dangerous lies we tend to believe about who we are: I am what I do. When I do good things, achieve and accomplish, I feel good about myself. When I “fail,” become ill, or grow older and can’t "do" at the same rate to the same degree, I feel less than, depressed, unworthy. I am what others say about me. If I am well liked and well thought of, I walk around feeling free. If someone doesn’t like something about me or something I’ve done, I feel self-conscious and anxious. I am what I have. I have a good family, a good education, I have good health. Until I lose some. If a family member dies, if I lose my health, my job or my possessions, I can slip into darkness. Nouwen is well-known for speaking and writing about countering these lies by claiming the truth of who we are:
Beloved. I am beloved when others praise me or reject me. I am beloved when I succeed and when I fail. I am beloved in sickness and in health. I am beloved because that’s who God says I am. Nothing on earth will ever change this truth of my identity.Let us stop searching for our identity “out there” somewhere. Let us stop defining ourselves based on people, possessions or popularity. I realize in our culture of social networks, this can be a difficult task, though one well worth the effort. We can affect huge positive impact on our lives by engaging in two simple steps each day:
- We claim the truth of who we are every morning by saying, “In the name of Jesus, I claim my true identity as Beloved of God.” Repeat often throughout the day.
- We reject anything contradictory to this truth – every critical thought that pops into my head, every temptation to feel jealous, rejected or less than – by saying, “In the name of Jesus, I reject every lie and every contradiction to Your Truth that may attempt to influence me today. Thank you Jesus for keeping me secure in Your Truth.” Repeat often throughout the day.
Copyright 2019 De Yarrison
About the Author
De guides women along the journey to spiritual and emotional healing, through coaching, deliverance prayer, and healing retreats. At YouAreMadeNew.com, De walks alongside women as we grow, heal, and discover the abiding presence of Christ within our own hearts. De invites you to join the Catholic women’s community, Hope’s Garden, which she cofounded.