It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I understood for the first time that I was loved by God. It turned my life upside down. I thought everyone else was loved but surely not me.
My identity up to that point wasn’t just not being loved - it was based on performance. I was told so much I wasn’t good enough, reminded that I would fail, and when I did fail, people would leave me. I lived as though my failures had defined me. On top of that, figuring out where I stood and what exactly it took to be accepted was exhausting.
When I began following Christ, I slowly realized how that whole paradigm was gone. I didn’t have to jump through hoops to somehow gain God’s favor. I was loved, simply because He loved me. Nothing I could do could make Him love me more or less!
We have all struggled with an identity crisis at some point in our lives. It’s either happened, is happening, or will happen. Where will you look to figure out who you are and what you are worth?
1 Corinthians 4:3 - But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.
Joe Buchanan, WCIC Station Manager
I recently listened to a sermon by Tim Keller where he taught on this verse and how it pertains to our identity and worth.
Your identity is not what others think of you.
When our identity is wrapped up in what others think of us, we become people-pleasers instead of true leaders. We become more worried about what others think of us than what God thinks of us. And at the end of the day, none of us can ever live up to everyone’s standards or compete with those around us. It’s what Solomon referred to in Ecclesiastes as “chasing the wind.” Earning others’ approval never truly satisfies.
Your identity is not what you think of yourself either.
At the end of 1 Corinthians 4:3, Paul says, “and I do not even examine myself.” What you think of yourself doesn’t matter. God is not asking us to look inward and approve of what we see; our good works are as filthy rags. He wants us to look at Christ and know that we are now partakers in His righteousness (Romans 5:17). As sinful people, we are prone to justifying ourselves. Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts (Proverbs 21:2). It is Christ who justifies us, not ourselves.
Instead, your identity is based on the One who created you. He decided your identity and your worth!
You are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27)
You are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph. 2:10)
You are forgiven (Heb. 8:12)
You are chosen (John 15:16)
You are not abandoned (John 14:18)
You are seen as righteous (2 Cor. 5:21)
You are worth dying for (Rom. 5:8)
You are loved!!
1 John 3:1 - See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God!
We don’t have to spend our lives trying to prove our worth to others or to ourselves. The verdict is out. YOU ARE LOVED by the One who created you and knows you best.
That’s who you are!