Everyone has been called a name at some point. Some are great, but others, not quite so much. And it’s these less than great names that seem to stick. They follow you around and pop up when you least need or want them.
The list could go on. These names hurt and we don’t easily forget them. We keep holding onto these names, these identities, and the pain that they have caused, even though we know it doesn’t do us any good.
I’ve realised recently though, that the names and identities we give ourselves are infinitely more damaging.
My current situation is what I’ve let define me. The boundaries of my world are set by my depression. Sometimes I feel a bit like a puppet – I’m only able to do what my depression allows me to do. I only get up when it lets me, I only work when it lets me, I’m only happy when it lets me. The strings that tie me to my depression are what define me. One of my greatest fears is that if (when Tom, when) I get better, and the strings are finally cut, I will no longer know how to move, how to be happy. I already find it hard to remember how to be happy when I have a good day now, so the thought that will be the case in the future scares me. I don’t want to end up clinging to my depression because being sad is all I know how to do.
But this shouldn’t be the case, it’s not “my depression”, it’s just my feelings, and they will change. Our life, and more importantly, our life in Christ is not defined by our experiences. Rather our experiences mould and shape us for the time we are living at the moment, here and now. And right here and now we should be living for Him.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slavenor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Rather than seeing yourself how others perceive you or even how you see yourself, see yourself through God’s eyes:
We are His sons and daughters.
John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
We are loved.
1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
We are beautiful in His eyes.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
We are never alone.
Hebrews 13:5 God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake.
We are made new in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
So who am I really? Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “As we believe in our heart, so are we.” So let us strive to believe in our hearts that we are His, and He is ours. Don’t let work, or relationships, or self-image, or health be your identity. Let Jesus be the one who defines who you are.