Who Is Defining Your Identity?
We all have a self-image. Each of us has a perception of ourselves that is either positive or negative…optimistic or uncertain… favorable or critical.
God also has an image of you, one that He imagined before time ever was (Psalms 139:13-16).
So two key questions of identity are:
1. What is the image God has of me?
2. And how can I see myself that way too?
God’s image of you is of a unique, beautiful expression of His true nature – so that you could live in joy, peace, love…in everything that He is. And… so that when the world encountered you, they would have a sweet taste of what He is really like.
Genesis 1:26 says,
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness…”
And in 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul wrote that as we behold the glory of the Lord, as in a mirror, we’re transformed into the same image that we’re seeing. It’s a process of transformation that Graham has often referred to as “Beholding and Becoming.”
But what if the “mirror” of God’s true nature we’re looking in isn’t accurate?
In my upcoming book, The Image, I’ve written:
The quality of a mirror impacts the reflection of ourselves that we see. Remember the crazy mirrors in the carnival fun house? Some gave us long legs and little bodies. Others made us short and wide….While it was amusing to us as children, it also made me wonder: what if the same principle pertains to spirituality?
… While Satan is not all-knowing, he’s also not completely stupid. Sometimes, he understands the principle of “beholding and becoming” better than we do. He has realized that if he can warp the image of God that you see, you will still become what you behold. Our perception of God’s true identity impacts our understanding of who He made us to truly be.
If our image of Him is not accurate, then our image of ourselves will not be either.
…Our childhood experiences with fathers, whether they were wonderful, absent, or harsh, shape our concept of Father God. Some of us had delightful times at church as small children, but others may have experienced Sunday school as a place where you needed to remember lots of rules, your memory verse and lesson, or there was a sense that God was disappointed because you had failed.
Our starting point in any exploration of our true identity must begin with accurately understanding who we perceive God to be.
So when you discover a self-perception that is negative or harsh, consider who has defined your image of God and of yourself. Use it as a sign post to ask Holy Spirit:
- What am I believing about myself that would cause me to think like this?
- Who does God see me to be when He looks at me here?
His image of you can only, ever be through the lens of Jesus, full of kindness… full of empowering grace. He sees the truth of who He created you to be and that’s what He wants to talk to you about, even if it isn’t currently true in your daily experience…yet.
He will come to you with who He is… and as you experience His true identity, your own image in His likeness will become more clear.
Consider who has defined your image of God. If it’s anything less than His true nature, then you have some great encounters ahead!
PS) Want more brilliant perspectives about your identity in Christ? Look out for the release of Allison’s new book , The Image: Experience Your Life from God’s Perspective this summer from Brilliant Book House. There will be several promotional offers too! 🙂
PPS) If you haven’t read Allison’s first book and want a fresh perspective to creating a passion-filled life of purpose and identity, get your copy of Joyful Intentionality here!