I wanted to take a quick break from my study of the book of Jeremiah today just to talk about something really quickly that’s on my heart and on my mind. I was talking with a close friend of mine this week about accepting what others say about us. That’s a two way street, obviously, and can either lift us up or crush us down, depending. A child that’s told that they’re worthless and ugly can often grow up believing those things about themselves. There’s actually an opposite to this, where we can receive and accept positive things about ourselves. We can accept that God says we’re worthy of being loved, so valuable that we’re worth the death of Jesus, that we’re capable of doing great things.
Today, another aspect of that presented itself to me that really just struck me as important (thus this blog post). I was watching a few different videos and the people in them were telling stories about their lives, basically. In the first video, the guy rushed into a dangerous situation trying to help, and said “It’s okay, I’m a man of God.” That was how he introduced himself. “I’m a man of God.” The other video was of a major league baseball player who talked about how much he wanted to be known as an all star and as a champion, but above all that he wanted to be able to say “I’m a man of God.”
Hearing these two guys talk about this subject got me thinking about my Bible. I want you to check out a few quick verses from the Bible and look at something with me.
1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
The first things these people do, the very first thing they do, is identify themselves. They speak something powerful over who they are. They proclaim something. The Bible tells us time and again that there’s power in the tongue, and it’s one of those Biblical truths that’s so easy to prove. You could walk up to someone and say “You’re ugly” and see a negative thing happen. Then walk up to someone and say “You’re beautiful” and you’re almost surely going to see a positive thing happen. There’s so much power in what we say.
And I don’t know, just these examples of proclaiming and declaring who we are, it really touched me. We can set the stage not just for a relationship or a conversation, not just for our day, but we can set the stage for a lifetime with this. Peter, James, and Paul each tell you exactly who they are on the first line of their letters in the Bible. And so I guess really what I wanted to say today is this. Who do you say that you are? What identity are you proclaiming over yourself in your life? When you woke up this morning and looked in the mirror, who did you say that you saw there? A failure, or a fighter? A captive or a conqueror? A person of God or a person of the world?
None of us get it right every time. Some days we proclaim ill over ourselves, and unfortunately, on those days, the ill usually comes to pass. When I proclaim myself unable and unworthy, I generally go through my day accomplishing little and feeling unworthy. That’s sad, but you know, it’s not the end of the world. Because the next day is a new opportunity to get it right. I can either be defeated by my mistakes or I can be instructed by them. So I just want to encourage you, claim who you are today. Maybe you’re struggling, maybe you have to keep it simple. Maybe the best you’ve got today is that you’re a survivor. Shout that out, proclaim it, hold onto it with all you’ve got today. If the seas of your life are so stormy that your ship’s been sunk, and the waves are still coming and there’s no land in sight, then look in the mirror and proclaim I AM THE WORLD’S STRONGEST SWIMMER. I AM UNDROWNABLE. Proclaim these things with confidence, backed by the knowledge that God created you, that Jesus bought you at the highest price possible, that you were lovingly designed to face down darkness and spread hope and light.
Proclaim with confidence, set the stage for your life. Say who you are, reintroduce yourself to yourself every morning if you have to. And if you’re unsure one day, ask God to remind you. If you’re tempted to proclaim something negative over your identity, reach out to a trusted friend and ask them to tell you who you are. And accept what they say. Accept what God says, and then go and conquer the dark, for His glory.
Father God, today I just feel so thankful that my identity is set in you. I hate that I can be so stupid as to forget at times just who it is that I am. I hate that I can forget just how undefeatable I really am. The only person that has the power to defeat me is myself, on those days I look in the mirror and say unworthy and incapable and disappointing and other negative junk. But in you, victory is never more than a moment away. You’re right there, inviting me to reclaim the truth about who I am. I couldn’t be more thankful for that than I am today, Lord. I ask that you please remind each of us, on those days when we’re not claiming our victorious identities, remind us who we really are. We’re your kids. We’re loved by you. We are worthy and capable. You make us that way. I love you, Lord, and my heart’s just full of your love on this day, and I pray that you give the same feeling to others and that you please use me to be an ambassador of your love to all those I meet. I pray all these things in the name of Jesus, amen.