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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