Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Romans 12:2
Throughout high school and university, I really struggled with finding my identity. I felt like I had to please others, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to be liked by my peers. I placed most of my identity on how I looked. I had many insecurities, and I thought that if I couldn’t be the prettiest, I would at least try to be the skinniest. Obviously this led to many unhealthy behaviours and left me feeling extremely broken inside trying to attain something that wasn’t possible.
When I gave up on trying to meet that standard, I started really valuing popularity and status within my friend group. I did everything to try and get people to like me. Instead of trying to living my life thinking about pleasing God, I did what would get me the most attention and friends. At this point in my life, I really didn’t have a solid relationship with God. I went to church, but I honestly just didn’t care that much.
All of these labels I placed on myself had me feeling trapped. I didn’t know who I really was or who I wanted to be. It gave me a lot of anxiety trying to live up to the expectation I had set for myself. I think that as a society we place a lot of value on labels. We think that we have to fit into a certain box to be accepted, which puts a ton of pressure on us to be perfect. Over the past couple of years I started questioning my personality and my actions, and I found that I really didn’t like who I had become. My identity became all about my struggles and my past failures.
Recently, I have instead been trying to find my identity in Christ rather than placing restricting labels on myself. In doing this, I have discovered so much freedom.
God doesn’t care about what we look like. He cares about our hearts.
God doesn’t see our worth in how many friends we have, He values how we love others.
In finding our identity in Christ we don’t have to measure up to unattainable standards, which I find incredibly freeing.
Galatians 5:13 says...
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
I really love this because it gives us a clear picture of what our freedom should look like.
Having freedom in our identity doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we want, but that we should use that freedom to serve others and to strengthen our relationship with God. This freedom should give us joy, knowing that Christ can use us to help others, without the weight of pressure and expectations.
I encourage you this week to let go of the labels you put on yourself, and accept the freedom that God has given you!
1. What is holding you back from finding freedom in Christ?
2. What defines you? How does God define you?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for freedom that can be only found in You. Please help me to realize that my identity isn’t found in my struggles but that it is only found in You. Help me to find peace with myself and who I am. God, I thank You for Your grace and Your never ending love. Amen.
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