A Mistaken Identity
By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
Who do people think that you are? How do they define you? More importantly, are they correct in their assessment? Recently, I did a little experiment on myself to unearth some answers.
I skipped the personality tests. I disregarded those career assessments. I chose not to locate a spiritual gifts inventory. Instead, I went straight to the Internet. (I know, you thought I was going to say I went straight to the Bible— Don’t worry: we will get there. For now, just humor me.)
I opted to “google” my whole name, minus my middle initial, thus joining the ranks of fellow card-carrying Google Anonymous members who spy on themselves.
This is what I learned about myself:
I am a married missionary in Central America.
(Considering I know exactly un pocito of Spanish and I am not Asian in looks, I believe I might be a victim of a switched-at-birth snafu.)
I am an actress of what appears to be questionable repute.
(Now, we know this can’t be accurate. I work at CBN, after all.)
I am an equestrian, among other athletic endeavors.
(This would make sense since I love horses, but alas I am not rich.)
I have about 14 children.
(Goodness, I hope they are all adopted!)
I am a New England college professor of English at various universities.
(How I manage to juggle jobs in Virginia and New Hampshire, I am not sure… ah, yes, the beauty of online classes.)
I have written a novel about the perfect man.
(Oh, boy, now everyone is going to tease me, considering that I am still single.)
I write for CBN.com.
(The truth finally comes out.)
Well, at least one of those answers is correct. And that’s my point.
It’s ridiculous to think that you could “find yourself” on the Internet—anymore than it is ridiculous to try to find yourself in that new job or mod hairstyle or exciting relationship. Human perspective is tenuous at best and down-right venomous at worst.
When we look to outside sources to define who we are, we aren’t going to get an accurate picture. When we rely on others to tell us who we are, we are not only in danger of losing touch with our true selves, but we are also in danger of caving in to every peer pressure imaginable in order to win outside approval. Keeping up with the Joneses does not a happy person make.
So what should define us, or rather who should have the final say about who we are?
Ultimately, we need to be listening to the one whose view of us is completely accurate, the one who cannot lie, the one who is consistently stable in every way. If you think the answer to these questions is you, you are sadly mistaken. We each can be easily deceived.
No, I am talking about God. (I told you I would circle back to talking about the Bible, didn’t I?) He is the One who knows our thoughts before we even voice them. He saw us and knew us even while we were in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). He is the one who looks not on the outward appearances, as we often do, but looks deep into our hearts where the real person resides (1 Samuel 16:7). He is the one who tells us the truth because He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19).
He has many things to say about us—so many wonderfully things—but I will only present a smattering here. Let’s take a look and marvel at how our Heavenly Father defines us:
- Loved by God (John 3:16)
- Forgiven (Colossians 1:14)
- New creations (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17)
- More than conquerors (Romans 8:37)
- Set free (John 8:32, 36)
- Blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)
- Cleansed of unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)
- Complete in Him (Colossians 2:10)
Now, isn’t that better than what someone else could ever say about us? People can pay us compliments and give us praise, jobs can give us satisfaction, a new wardrobe can make us feel beautiful, but only God can bring us an eternal perspective that won’t fade or tarnish and one that is completely accurate and life-changing.
So, next time you are feeling down or just confused about who you are, don’t ask your friends, your boss, your spouse, your children, or even the culture in which we live to help you figure it all out. Look to God and revel in His favor, His delight, and His purposes for you.
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