Shopping for a New Identity

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says identitymeans “who someone is; the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.”1I believe women struggle with their identity more than anything else. From the time we are very young we get a visual picture of what beauty should look like. We watch movies, look at advertisements, and are inundated by commercials that try to tell us how the world thinks we should look, dress, and behave. It’s a distorted picture, and one we can never live up to.

Have you ever watched one of those complete makeover shows and said, “I wish I could have a makeover like that so I could look in the mirror and see a new me that I could feel good about”? The way you see yourself is your self-image. Unfortunately, your self-image can become distorted over the years because the words spoken about you have shaped the way you think about yourself. It’s like looking into one of those funhouse mirrors; it’s not an accurate reflection of who you are!

Words are very powerful and they begin to shape our self-image from an early age. The Bible says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV). Growing up we hear comments such as: “What a pretty little girl. Look at those big brown eyes!” or “My, what a chubby little thing.” Then we go to school and our peers begin to point out all of our differences in a negative light. We also receive report cards that grade us on a scale. All the while these things begin to shape the way we see ourselves when we look into the mirror.

I think it is time for us to throw off the old and shop for a new identity. The Word of God is comprised of sixty-six books full of thousands of stories dealing with every topic known to humankind. It is like walking into an enormous bookstore full of every kind of book imaginable on every possible subject. As we open the Word of God and see who Hesays we are, we begin to get a new identity and see ourselves differently.

In the book of Exodus, God spoke to Moses and told him to build a bronze wash basin for the priests of the Tabernacle to wash themselves in. Exodus 38:8 says they made the laver from the bronze mirrors used by the women. During this period of time they didn’t have glass mirrors like we do. They took brass or bronze and polished it until it was so shiny that they could see their faces reflected, just like in a mirror. The Bible talks about washing in the water of the Word of God (see Ephesians 5:26). Just as the priests would wash in the laver to cleanse themselves, we are to wash in the water of the Word so that our minds can be cleansed of all our wrong images, and we can see ourselves as God sees us. When we wash in the water of God’s Word, it will renew our minds and give us a new image of ourselves.

When we see ourselves as not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough or, we feel we don’t deserve anything better than we have in this life. We won’t go to God because we already feel guilty or unlovable. We stay out of church because we think everyone is judging us and comparing us to them. We know we can never measure up, so we pull away and wonder why we always feel lonely and rejected.

As you open God’s Word and begin to see what He has to say about you, it is like opening a compact mirror and seeing a new image of yourself. You will learn that you are loved with an everlasting love, and you have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus. You are forgiven, accepted, and He has declared you innocent in His sight. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and in God’s eyes you are beautiful! You are a one-of-a-kind design!

Each day you can be washed clean and new; you can learn to forgive others, forgive yourself, and receive God’s forgiveness. Second Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold all things have become new” (NKJV). Come freely and come often; wash yourself in God’s Word until you see a beautiful self-image.

Every day God invites you to come into His bookstore and shop for a new identity in the books of the Bible. Discover who God says you are—you are a new creation, washed in His blood. Don’t just read it; believeit and actlike you believeit. Then you will begin to hold your head up as you identify yourself as a child of God, completely forgiven and loved by Him.

It is time to receive a complete makeover! Second Corinthians 3:18 says: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory…” (NKJV).

Then, like a mirror, you will reflect God’s glory to the world as they see Christ in you.

You are:

Loved (see Revelation 1:5)            

Blessed (see Ephesians 1:3)

Chosen (see Ephesians 1:4)

Blameless (see Ephesians 1:4)

Accepted (see Ephesians 1:6)

Forgiven (see Ephesians 1:7)

Beautiful (see Psalms 139:14)      

  1. Merriam-Webster, s.v. “identity,” accessed November 19, 2015, http://www.meriam-webster.com/dictionary/identity.

 

 

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Lucky the Dog

Anyone who has pets will really like this—you’ll like it even if you don’t have pets and you may even decide you need one!

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named ‘Lucky.’ Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit, they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget, and something would come up missing.

Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s other favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease, in fact, she was just sure it was fatal.

She scheduled the double mastectomy; fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her, “what would happen to Lucky?” Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him.    The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated, and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped; whining and miserable.

Finally, the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom.  Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap. Lucky stood watching Mary, but he didn’t come to her when she called.  It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn’t understand what was wrong. She couldn’t move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!  While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love.

Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It’s been twelve years now and Mary is still cancer-free.  Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box, but Mary remains his greatest treasure.

Remember to live every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget—the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards—they are the ones that care for us.

If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours! Live simply. Love seriously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

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Fit for a Queen

The story of Esther captivates me. No matter how many times I read it, my heart leaps with excitement and joy. It seems to be the type of story I would read in a novel or see played out as a Hollywood movie, yet there is nothing fictional about it. I believe God has woven […]

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God’s Changing Room – Leaving the Masks Behind

Batman, Spiderman, The Flash, and Mr. Incredible are some of the greatest masked characters in pop culture. Why do they wear masks? They wear them to conceal their identities. If no one knows who they really are they can’t be hurt. These masked vigilantes hide their weaknesses, desires, hopes, and dreams. If the world discovered […]

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