Who Am I? How Do I Develop a Healthy Identity?
You may know you are God’s child and believe Jesus loves you. Yet, be overwhelmed by feelings of rejection, depression, and insecurity, and hide in your imagination to feel safe.
You love Jesus, but deep down, you feel worthless, empty, and unloved, and try to earn the approval of others. No matter how hard you try, deep inside you are afraid you cannot please God.
Between adverse childhood trauma and teen years fraught with insecurities, it’s become increasingly difficult to develop a healthy identity. Like ships without any mooring, when the storms hit, many of us shipwreck in our faith and even in life itself.
As a child, I experienced traumas that left me broken and hemorrhaging, fearing failure and rejection.
Traumatized, I believed I was worthless and couldn’t do anything right. That lie felt true and shaped my false identity and my self-talk.
I loved Jesus but deep inside, I believed I was intrinsically bad. I was not good enough to earn God’s protection from evil people and I lived in fear. My experiences seemed to validate that fear as truth.
When I was 60, the Lord took me to Ellel Ministries, where I experienced healing and deliverance from traumas that for decades had robbed me of my true identity.
Feelings Feel True
Have you ever felt your mistakes proved you are a failure? Feared if people knew you, they could never love you? Do you engage in negative self-talk that reflects the belief you are intrinsically bad or have no choices?
Perhaps you have experienced trauma that still triggers you. Trauma locks one into the memory in the amygdala of that frightening moment, producing feelings of anger, guilt, shame, and powerlessness that steal your hope.
You are a person of great value! You are not your mistakes, or sin, or the abuses done to you! You are not even the medical label doctors have put on you.
You don’t have to earn the Father’s love or acceptance. He knows your sins and failures, but He still loves you!
It is true! The Lord loves you and longs to set you free from the past. He wants to cleanse you, heal your broken heart, and give you a fresh identity grounded in the truth of who you are in Him.
What is Identity?
Experiences with family, peers, faith, culture, and society have shaped who you are. Your values, goals, attitudes, purpose in life, and even your beliefs form the foundation on which your identity is grounded.
But a healthy identity requires a secure foundation rooted in unchangeable truth.
When opinions of others determine your value, your foundation is unstable, creating a false, self-centered identity constantly in flux. Where you need someone’s approval to be okay, your identity is performance based, creating insecurity.
Assaults against your identity are real; the world seeks to squeeze you into its mold, to manipulate your thoughts, and conform you to its image.
The media creates false images of beauty and how to be valuable. It tells you lies. Even people you have trusted have lied to you. Lost in a sea of thoughts saying you aren’t good enough, you feel frightened and even hopeless.
Solution: A New Identity
Jesus said you must be born into God’s family. When He adopts you, He gives you a clean new identity. As His son, you are promised an inheritance.
But, the enemy of your soul doesn’t suddenly let go of your mind. He holds you captive to lies that form the foundation of your identity. In your head you know you are God’s child, but because you don’t feel any different, you remain trapped into a false identity where you are a slave.
Not understanding deep in your heart that you are a beloved child of God, you flounder. Your feelings say you need to earn God’s favor to be okay.
But feelings, though they feel true, do not predicate or define truth. Truth comes from God who loves you, just because you are His child!
A child who is loved doesn’t have to earn the love or acceptance of the parent. Your Heavenly Father freely loves you, even when you fall. You are a beloved child; He wants to teach you to walk in safety. He knows you will fall, for walking is a learned process. When you fall, He will pick you up – if you allow Him.
Death of Old Identity
After salvation, you went under the waters of baptism, to be planted in the likeness of Christ’s death. Your old identity was crucified and buried with Christ (Rom 6:3-6). As you rose from the water, symbolically, you arose with the life of Christ. Your old identity was buried. You are no longer a slave to sin.
“In Christ”, you became a child of God. Today, regardless of your past, you are a new creation, with a new identity (2 Cor 5:16-17).
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:3 NKJV). You have a special identity in Christ. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pe 2:9 NKJV).
Where you walk in your old identity, you walk in fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, and anger. Your foundation of lies transpose your obedience to the Heavenly Father into legalistic acts of service done to appease Him.
But you have been set free to walk in faith, hope, and love. The secret is to see yourself “in Christ”. Your new identity “in Christ” must move from head knowledge to become truth in your heart.
Jesus is your Salvation. This isn’t an abstract idea or something you have to do. Salvation is Christ coming into your life as God grafts you into the Vine (John 15:4-5). As you learn to abide in Christ, the Vine, His life flows through you.
In Christ, you have a beautiful identity. In Christ, you are accepted; you don’t need to earn His acceptance.
Identified with Christ, you are seated positionally with Him in heavenly places (Eph 2:6). Right now, your spirit sits with Christ above all the limitations and pain of life. It is hard to imagine, but learn to speak this truth.
Tell yourself, “I am seated with Christ Jesus in heavenly places.” When you feel discouraged, depressed, confused, afraid, or angry, speak this truth.
Churning thoughts say you are no good, just a failure; nobody loves or cares about you, you are alone in your suffering. Those are lies.
Verbally, thank Jesus you are seated with Him in heavenly places. It takes time for this truth to become your foundation, so take every opportunity to speak words of truth over yourself, which helps your brain establish new neuronal pathways of life.
You are seated with Jesus who conquered all things! In His name, choose life. In His name, choose the truth you are the beloved child of the Father.
In Jesus’ name reject negative feelings, thoughts, and self-talk. They died at Calvary. Don’t dig them up and carry them. If they pop into your head, give them to Jesus.
Put on Christ Jesus. Put on His mind. Gives thanks, for Christ rescued you from bondage to the devil (Eph 2:2-3). Jesus is the Rock of your salvation. He is unshakable; He rules over all principalities and powers (Eph 1:21-22) and He gives you His authority to conquer evil in His beloved name.
The Lord loves you and offers you a new identity with healing and freedom from the past.
Choose life, my friend. Choose your new identity and celebrate the love of Yeshua!