We must know who we are in order to have healthy relationships. Our identity is not in our relationships with others. However, the way we respond in our relationships reveals what we believe about our identity. Our identity is shaped by the way we believe God views us, the way we think others view us and the way we view ourselves.
In Christ, our core identity is based on what Jesus has done for us and what He thinks about us. That is eternal and unchanging. Our core identity is not shaped by how we view ourselves or how we believe that others view us. Aspects of our identity are influenced by our roles (spouse, parent, child, sibling, gender) and our passions (music, sports, art).
These secondary aspects can influence how others view us and how we view ourselves, but they cannot bear the weight of our core identity because these things can change. When we allow someone else to determine our identity then we can become prideful (focused on wanting others to think well of us) or fearful (concerned that others will think poorly of us).
Sometimes the truth that we are children of God is overshadowed by our experiences, past relationships and the beliefs we develop throughout life. It is important that we spend time exploring whether our identity beliefs are true.
Create three separate columns on a fresh page in your journal. In the first column list how you believe others see you. In the second column write how you often view or label yourself. In the third column write what you have learned about who you are as a result of 1st Love.
- What do you notice as you compare these lists? What is easier to believe?
- What are the things you desperately long to be true about your identity, but fear are not?
- What does 1st Love significance say to those fears?