While reflecting on the pain that I have been experiencing lately, I have prayerfully come to the conclusion that I was putting my identity in being “successful” according to the world’s standards.
You see, when I was a school teacher, I was always able to give my students a test to take and the results helped me to determine whether or not they understood the lesson that was taught to them-- in other words, I saw fruit. Also, when I was in school, I got excited when I received an “A” after a long semester of working and studying hard (more fruit). Then, when I was no longer a teacher and a student and was handed the task of starting a ministry that—in my own eyes—was not bearing fruit, I fell into a pit. Ministry is different than all other vocations. The results are not immediate. Sowing and plowing must be done, and then in due season, the harvest will come. Sometimes the harvest takes years to come.
Because I was not seeing “fruit,” I felt like a failure and started to label myself as such. Instead of identifying myself as a child of God, I saw myself as a failure. I was forgetting these important truths that:
I am a child of God and that my identity doesn’t come from how much money I have in the bank, what my title/positon is, and how my ministry is doing on social media platforms.
As a result of putting my identity in the wrong things, I began to give up. I stopped trying to help people, I stopped trying in my relationships, and my heart was hardened. My pride caused me to hurt a lot of people—and I am truly sorry.
I don’t want to ever miss out on the good things God wants to do in and through my life because of my blindness in knowing who I am and whose I am.
Here’s 10 important things the Lord has been teaching me:
1. You will lose yourself if you put your identity in things and people other than God.
2. Your life is not over, your life is not horrible—instead, you were putting your identity in something other than God.
3. Remember these lyrics from a very popular song: “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” God gives and takes away for our good. Put your identity in Christ so that when you lose that job, when that relationship doesn’t work out, and when plans change—you will not be moved or shaken because you’ve built your foundation on a solid rock (Jesus).
4. When God takes something away or withholds something, the way you react will determine where your identity lies.
5. Remember that your identity is not rooted in things that pass away, it’s rooted in Christ. Cling to Jesus, and not the things of this world.
6. God doesn’t change even when you change or when your circumstances change.
7. If you put your identity in things, you will lose yourself; If you put your identity in God, you will find yourself.
8. God loves you too much to give you something that you will lose yourself over.
9. Remember to always seek His kingdom first and His righteousness and all things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
10. God is still good and working on your behalf.
I love you and so does Jesus,