In this week’s blog post we’ll continue our discussion on the topic of perception.
Perception is how you see yourself. It affects your attitude and actions. Your earliest relationships help shape how you see yourself. Issues from your past distort your perception, and hinder spiritual growth and maturity. You’ll never discover your true identity with a distorted perception of yourself.
All of us want to feel loved, to have significance, to feel secure. But when you experience a lot of pain such as the pain of rejection, it begins to take its toll on you. Pain has a voice that whispers, “Nobody loves you. You’re nobody. You can’t trust anybody. They’ll always hurt you.” Over time, you begin to view everything through the lens of rejection. As your perception of yourself changes, your world starts to revolve around rejection or whatever is the source of your pain. If we’re honest, even though we’re saved, sanctified and Holy Ghost filled, all of us struggle with something. You can be plagued with an issue so long you begin to believe that even Jesus can’t fix what’s wrong with you. When you struggle with something for a long time, you begin to equate the struggle with your identity.
The pain of loneliness, failure, denial or rejection shapes your identity, how you see yourself, as well as how you portray yourself to others. Signs that pain has become your identity are when the fear of success causes you to self-sabotage accomplishing anything significant in your life. You shy away from opportunities telling yourself “I’m not this,” or “I’ll never be able to do that,” or “I’m not smart enough.” You get stuck in what I call comfortable captivity and develop a “why even bother to try” attitude. You internalize everything and reject others before they can reject you. Pain distorts your perception and negatively impacts your behavior.
It’s important to understand that you’re not who you think you are. Nor are you who others think you are. But you’re everything God says you are. If you’re a Child of God, then you have purpose. You may not have discovered your purpose yet, but you still have it. God’s purpose for your life guarantees everything will work out. Purpose reveals your kingdom identity and aligns you with the will and power of God. Purpose demands a shift in perception. You can’t go any further than your perception. Therefore, to operate in kingdom purpose demands growth and transformation. You can’t achieve your full potential in Christ with a limited or distorted perception of yourself or God. I’m so glad that God is in the habit of transforming messed up people and giving them a new identity in Jesus Christ.
Just as pain becomes your identity by process, God uses process to reveal your true identity. II Corinthians 5:17 indicates we have a new identity in Christ (Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.). Your purpose and destiny are too great, and too many people are depending on your healing and deliverance for you to remain the same!
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Your identity is found in Christ. Jesus is the only one who can define you. Your identity in Christ means you’re healed – not broken, free – no longer bound, blessed – not cursed, a victor – not a victim, an overcomer – not an underdog. The Bible says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). This means fear no longer defines you. Rejection no longer defines you. Selfishness no longer defines you. Unforgiveness no longer defines you. Envy and jealousy no longer define you. Failure no longer defines you. The world can no longer define you.
John 10:10 reveals just how valuable you are. It says, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.” Thieves only steal things that are valuable. But Satan doesn’t just try to steal your identity. He also works relentlessly to kill your identity with his lies. But he doesn’t stop at stealing and killing your identity. He seeks to destroy it because he knows that God is in the habit of resurrecting dead things. The Good News is that Jesus came to give you life; one that’s powerful, abundant and far beyond what you could possibly imagine.
For some of you reading this, you can’t imagine yourself accomplishing anything great because you’re used to sitting on the sidelines and watching others succeed and get their breakthroughs. But God has equipped and empowered you to become something greater than your past or present circumstances dictate. Now is the time to reclaim your true identity! It’s your time, but it’s for God’s glory.
Join us next week for the conclusion of “When Pain Becomes Your Identity Part 3.”
Until next time…Be blessed!
Rev. Cynthia Jackson