Lesson: Identity

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Where do you find your identity? Some people find it in their children, work or being a wife /husband, a Christian. Some are not sure at all how to identify themselves.

When someone asks who you are what do you say?

Most people will say “I am a mom, I am dad, I am a husband/wife, I am a Christian, I work at >>>”. But who are you really? Getting deeper into how they really see themselves: they will say “I am kind, I am hardworking, I am a control freak, I am shy, I am …”.

Where does your “worth” come from?

Many people measure their worth from what people say about them. They repeat what others have said since childhood. These statements become who they are, what they think about themselves. How they measure their worth is how much worth or value someone else attached to them.

Do you feel important? To whom? The worth and value that was assigned while growing up then makes a person feel important or not important. We all have that one person (a grandma or grandpa or aunt/uncle/brother/sister) that made us feel important and valuable. They were glad to see you and said good things about you. You then believed you had worth/value. Does that mean you only have value that someone else assigns to you? “one mans trash is another man’s treasure?” And the best you could hope for is someone to not think you’re trash?

If your life changed drastically and you lost a part of how you identify yourself, how would you handle it?

Many people in ministry identify themselves by their ministry. I am the praise/worship leader. I am a teacher. Some women identify as a mom. A woman may identify herself as a wife. What happens when that identity ends? You are not the teacher anymore. Your children move out. Your husband dies or leaves? That sends many people into depression and great anxiety. Post-partum depression- loss of freedom and how you identified yourself your entire life and fear of being a good mother.

Do you think you are beautiful? Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (Unilever) “Beyond Stereotypes: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs” (2006) and “Real Truth About Beauty” (2005) global studies:
92% of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest.

75% of teenage girls felt ‘depressed, guilty and shameful’ after spending just three minutes leafing through a fashion magazine.

70% of girls ages 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion “due to feeling badly about one’s looks.”

61% of all women and 69 % of girls (15 to 17) feel that their mother has had a positive influence on their feelings about themselves and their beauty.

25%of women would consider undergoing plastic surgery.

While only 19% of teenage girls are “overweight,” 67% think they “need to lose weight” (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic
Do you think you are important? Can you actually say “I am important and I am valuable”? Does saying that bring to mind at least one person that thinks you are valuable? Would you still feel valuable if that person was not in your life?

What would you change about your appearance? Glamour survey of more than 300 women of all sizes found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day.

55 percent of women had abusive thoughts about their overall weight or size; 43 percent said they targeted specific areas (the most berated: belly and thighs).
Women are constantly bombarded with images and descriptions of what our identity is “supposed “ to be in modern culture. (Skinny, Barbie Dolls. Superwoman.)

What image do you buy into? (What image comes to mind?)

You can’t buy into the image and identity the world sets for you. You will be depressed, anxious, worried, & feel inferior. If you compare yourself to celebrities or magazines or the seemingly superwoman down the street, you will find that you are comparing yourself to an incomplete viewpoint. Nearly one in four women ages 50-64 were found to be on an antidepressant, with 13 percent of the overall population also on antidepressants. (Source: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=173763#sthash.ViQ8BDPf.dpuf) Personally, I think the number is way more than that. People who claim to be depressed but may not have prescriptions for medication.

God did not intend for you to compare yourself to others. He did not intend for you to compare yourself to any standard other than the Bible. The Word of God is the standard by which we should all measure ourselves. In fact, no other standard will do.

Who does God say you are?

What does God say of your abilities?

What does God say of your worth?

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

1 Corinthians 12:27

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Colossians 3:1-4

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Ephesians 4:22-24

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Romans 8:14-15

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Isaiah 43:1

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Psalm 100:3

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Colossians 3:12

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Psalm 139:14

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

We are created in God’s image. We have the ability to think, feel, choose, and love. Eph 5:1 says “Therefore be imitators of God”. James reminds us that we should speak to all people with honor and respect. “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God (James 3:8-9)

Do I treat others in such a way that it honors God? Do I treat myself in such a way that it honors God?

Do I see what God sees when I look in the mirror?

 

We rely on so many other sources for measuring our worth. If our man loves us. If he thinks we are beautiful. What if we only relied on God’s opinion of us and no one else?

Challenge:

This week, to practically apply this Word of God.

  1. By taking every thought captive that is does not line up with what God says about me. I do this by immediately examining the thought, compare it to scripture and if it does not line up with what God says then I speak either out loud or to myself what God’s word says and I choose to believe it.
  2. By meditating on what God say I am. The more you read it and absorb it into your spirit the more the Word of God will renew your mind. Memorize key scriptures that speak to you.
  3. Pray the Word. Put your name in the scripture and pray it over you. You can also pray this way over your children and husband.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I repent for believing all other opinions about me rather than your opinion. Only your opinion really matters. What you say about my worth, my skill, my talent, my purpose is more important than what anyone else has ever said about me or will ever say. I believe your Word and what it says about me. I will not believe lies of the enemy any longer. I will not rely on other people to give me my worth. I believe that I am more than a conqueror. I am your daughter, loved and accepted. You chose me even if no one else will. I freely give to you all my past hurts, feelings of worthlessness and feelings of inferiority. I forgive anyone in the past for hurtful things that have been said that caused me to believe bad things about myself. I repent for comparing myself to someone else and I will now look to your Word for truth. Send your Holy Spirit to help me and guide me to your truth. Use your Word to light my path to better understanding of your love and acceptance for me.

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