You answer this question a dozen times a day. At least your heart does. And how your heart answers impacts everything.
(This is why the enemy goes after your heart’s view of who you are relentlessly.)
Just to be clear, your heart thinks about you on a more profound level than your bio on Facebook or what you say during the get-to-know-you portion of a typical Church small group.
Your heart answers in ideas and images, sometimes incomplete, often imperceptible. And yet, as much as these may fly under the radar of your everyday awareness, how your heart answers will manifest in other ways.
- John is successful on all fronts. He’s respected at work, in his neighborhood, and at church. And he’s been involved in a series of secret extra-marital affairs for years.
- Judy is a star on the track team, made honor roll every year, and is a leader in her youth group. And at night in her room, she’s viewing porn and visiting chat rooms in ways she hopes no one ever discovers.
- May is super involved in her church’s inner-city outreach, volunteering to help in any way she can. And her emotions rise or fall based on the affirmation she does or doesn’t receive from the leaders in her church.
- Tim is a pastor who loves his congregation. Many in his church share enthusiastically how much Tim has influenced their lives for good. Often when Tim drives home after Sunday services, he ruminates on how well or poorly he feels his sermon went.
Long-standing faulty beliefs undermine our best efforts to live the lives God intends for us. Without getting to these deep-seated beliefs, change and growth will be hindered. Biblical precepts, practical strategies, solid accountability, and all the know-how in the world can be trumped by hidden faulty beliefs a person carries about him or herself.
So what can be done?
1. Acknowledge you have deep-seated beliefs about yourself. We all do, and they’re not all true.
2. Begin asking, “Father, reveal the faulty ideas and images I carry of myself.” Take time with this. Sometimes these things trace back to early childhood.
3. As He reveals faulty beliefs, press them into Christ on the cross. He bore our faulty identities so we could come to know who we really are in Him.
4. Ask the Father to tell you the truth about who you are. As your Creator, He knows. Take time with this as well, write down what you hear. Be assured, what He says will be thoroughly biblical, and yet He knows the language of your heart, so don’t be surprised if He speaks to you in ways or times you don’t expect. (One of the most meaningful things God has spoken to me about who I am was in the middle of an action movie, of all places.)
You’ll need help with these. Find a trusted friend, mentor, or advisor who can pray, listen, and discern with you.