Monday, March 5, 2012

Soul Care #4- Identity

Have you ever had a pronouncement made about who you are?  Maybe someone in junior high said you had a funny nose or laughed too loud.  Maybe a teacher called you her "star student".  Whether good or bad, we often take on the comments and reactions of others as a gauge for who we are.

Stephen Smith, author of Embracing Soul Care, writes:
"We do not see ourselves as God views us.  It takes a lifetime to even begin to realize who we really are in God's eyes.  Judges 6 tells of Gideon's struggle with his identity.  The angel of the Lord said to Gideon, 'The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.' (v. 12) Gideon knew he was not a mighty warrior.  He had not done anything outstanding.  Yet this pronouncement identifies the Gideon God made him to be.  At first he resisted this noble status, arguing with the angel: 'How can I save Israel?... My clan is the weakest... I am the least..." (v. 15) Gideon does not accept his true identity.  The announcement of Gideon's identity didn't sink in, but as his life unfolded, he lived out his 'mighty warrior' name."  (pp. 47-48)
Perhaps this seems basic to you, but have you ever really thought about who you are?  How did God build you?  What is your makeup?  Are you a natural encourager?  Are you able to see the big picture and easily make plans and set achievable goals?  Do people feel at ease and open up their hearts to you?  Who did God make you to be?

Really.  I want you to stop and answer this question:

  • "Who did God make me to be?"
Have you thanked God for making you as He did?  It's no surprise to Him that you're the way you are. Do you believe He can use you in His plans for the world?  

As a way of opening up, I'll share my answers with you, from when I read this portion of the book... 
"prophetess of God-- NOT big P, Prophetess.  Little p prophetess-- truth-speaker.
Bold, truthful"
And to be honest, I sometimes forget that God made me this way & lapse into feeling bad about these character qualities.  

I remember certain things other people have spoken over me-- controlling, judgmental -- and could easily think that I'm mistaken in exercising these character qualities.  But the fact of the matter is, God built me this way.  He made me passionate about truth... so much that in college, I wrote an article in our college about how fake it is to answer that you're "fine" if you're really torn up inside... I implored my peers to be honest with each other!  And was promptly rebuked (in the college newspaper the following week) by a friendly professor who reminded me that these friendly greetings are the glue of society.  :)  

My point is though, that in big and small ways, I can look through the experiences of my life and see certain things God built into me that keep on popping up as traits of "me".  I didn't put them there.  My parents didn't plant them in me... although our parents certainly sometimes encourage or discourage certain attributes in us.  But God builds us with certain attributes, and when you take the overview of your life, you may find certain things God has put into you.  

So, how did God build you?  And can today be a day that you bless the Lord for how He made you?

Image: Ambro /


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