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When Experience Isn’t a Good Thing

Nothing on earth has the authority to define you. Your identity—your true identity—is who God created you to be.

And yet, what you experience regularly informs your sense of who you are. In other words, your experiences—your circumstances, interactions, feelings, temptations, actions, etc.—all give you their opinion about who you are.

And as you might guess, their opinion frequently doesn’t align with who God says you are.

For example, do feel you don’t measure up compared to others? Have you been abused, used, or abandoned? Do you feel like damaged goods? Do you struggle with habitual sins like lust, rage, gluttony, promiscuity, homosexual activity, envy, or fear?

Maybe you can’t remember a time when one or more of these wasn’t a part of your experience.

Maybe you can’t imagine a version of you apart from them.

Nonetheless, they do not speak the truest thing about you.

If this is hard for you to believe, try this:

  1. Ask Jesus this simple question: What have my experiences (my circumstances, relationships, feelings, desires, or actions) told me about myself that is untrue?
  2. Spend some time in prayer, see Jesus absorbing each false label or identity into his body on the cross for you. (2 Cor. 5:21)
  3. Then, like a child, ask: Jesus, who am I? Who do you say that I am?

This is a start. Keep asking, and keep listening for his true words. You might also explore a link like this, with truths straight from Scripture about who you are as one who is in Christ.

The process of realigning your perceptions of yourself with what’s true can be lengthy and challenging. You’ll likely need help.*

And it’s worth it. Whatever faulty names your experience has been giving, Jesus has better for you.

Question: What’s one thing you can do this week in the process of realigning your sense of yourself with what’s true about who you are? Share your thoughts below.

Named new,
Josh

* If you’re in our area, we’d love to walk with you. (Our Living Waters programs begin soon and will benefit you greatly. Click here for more information.

3 thoughts on “When Experience Isn’t a Good Thing”

  1. Josh, this is a excellent message. I have downloaded the scriptures. I would love to come to regeneration and do a course, however a bit too far from Australia. Keep up the great messages.
    Bless you
    Greg

  2. Great message, and one of the most profound truths that I have come to know in my lifetime…but it is a daily effort to remind myself of it. We are so deeply programmed to define ourselves based on what we have done.

    I especially like the picture above – how marvelously appropriate and so illustrative of our tendency toward self-identity!

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