‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light’ 1 Peter 2: 9
How do you see yourself? How do other people see you? How does He see you?
The last one matters most. We need to work on merging the first one with the last one. We need to see ourselves how He sees us. The second one is irrelevant if it contradicts the last one. Despite us putting so much emphasis on the second one, it is the one that matters least. Agus, sin é!
I saw the word ‘God-fidence’ written somewhere recently, and it made me smile. God-fidence. The new ‘confidence’. 😉
So much emphasis is placed on image in this world. How will others perceive us? How can we blend to fit in with the majority? What will they think? What will they say?
My whole life I have felt somewhat defined by the word ‘different’. Different in a variety of ways. Mixed race in a country where as a child, I would be amazed and enthralled if I ever managed to come across another mixed race child; that’s how rare it was at the time. (Thankfully the multicultural landscape has changed massively in the last 10-20 years). Protestant in a mainly Catholic country, resulting in a difference of denominational culture as well as a difference in heritage. Not one, but two parents who are ministers. #raiseahandofsolidarityforthepreacherskids. A lifetime of adapting. A lifetime of moving, so there was never any one place to be called home. A lifetime of wanting to blend and be an integral part of somewhere or a community, when everything about me felt different. Cue the violin!
When it comes down to it, I am so grateful for these differences!!
I am grateful for these differences due to the insight they have provided me with. I believe being ‘different’, has allowed me to have an open mind and see people as individuals with a multitude of complexities and layers, appreciating the psychology and mindset of who they are as opposed to judging or making unfounded presumptions. I hope that is how I am. I am grateful for these differences because who wants to be the same as everyone anyway? Keeps things interesting!
There are certainly pros and cons though. During times where being similar, being understood, being accepted, are all you wish for, how does one navigate through and retain confidence in their identity? By realising, that your identity is not defined by who others say you are. It is defined by who God says you are. It is not even defined by who YOU say you are. Because the reality is, who you say you are, likely does not even half live up to who God says you are!
You are precious. You are loved. You are worthy. You are His treasure.
Into the deep I will go with You Submerge my feet to my head in all of You As Your presence falls I am drowned in Your love Immerse me, immerse me (Song: Into the Deep - Citipointe)
You are His treasure.
Regardless of how you feel; because at any one time we slide back and forth along a spectrum ranging from arrogance to feeling worthless. Regardless of who others say you are; because they never see all of you, they see what they want to see and whatever aspects you have revealed to them. Regardless of the labels the world tries to place on you. Regardless of the labels you place on yourself. It doesn’t take away from the fact that you are made in His image and loved by the King.
This is an excerpt of a word one of my brothers gave to me [wording adapted slightly]: ‘What man said is not who you are… things spoken over you [by other people]… be set free from these [labels, falsehoods]… reveal truth… Father break this box/cage’.
How can we become more true to our identity in Christ and live it out? These are some characteristics I aim towards and I pray that God will enable these to be the very essence of who I am.
‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight’. 1 Peter 3: 3-4
‘She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honour her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate’ Proverbs 31: 25-31
‘You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ Ephesians 4: 22-24