Sitting in the audience recently at Jennifer Rothschild‘s Fresh Grounded Faith Conference, I heard Jennifer say, “Who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing!”
Do you believe this?
Those of you who have attended the Discover Conference know that I have a passion for helping women discover their true identity in Christ, which made this statement jump out at me today. Over the past couple months I have heard story after story from women who are doing the very thing Jennifer addressed today. They are defining themselves by their struggles rather than by the truth found in God’s Word, so this week we are going to dig into this a little bit.
Today we will address the statement Jennifer made. And the rest of the week we will look at other statements that can initiate identity crisis in our lives.
But let’s start with this statement: Who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing.
Have you ever been tempted to believe the lie that your struggles define you? I have. And in hearing the stories of women I have found that we not only define ourselves by our current struggles, but we also define ourselves by our past struggles. In our mind we make statements like:
I will always be the girl/woman who (fill in the blank with your struggle).
Whether we are currently dealing with an issue or have dealt with it in the past we can be tempted to define ourselves with statements like this. But what does God’s Word have to say about who we are in relation to our actions past or present?
Let’s look at II Corinthians 5:17:
17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
‘The old things have passed away.” I think as women this truth is difficult for us to believe. Maybe we think we don’t deserve for our past to be wiped clean. Remember the past starts with the last passing moment. So even if you fell into temptation last night or this weekend or even earlier today, that is the past. Are you letting Jesus wipe your past away? Or are you holding onto because you feel you deserve to be punished over and over again with it? Have you fallen into the trap of thinking that you don’t deserve the same future that someone else who has avoided your sins deserves?
Romans 3:23 reminds us that ALL of us have sinned. Therefore your thought patterns are somewhat correct, you don’t DESERVE to be forgiven. However, because Jesus died in our place we are forgiven of the sins we commit. When we surrender our lives to Christ the old things pass away. And, looking back at II Corinthians 5:17 we see it ends with “new things have come.” When God wipes away the old things, He replaces them with new things!
The beginning of this verse states that we surrender our lives to Christ, He makes us a new creature. This is fact. This is one definition of who you are when you are in Christ. Now, we have the choice everyday to live like the new creature or the old creature. But no matter how you act, you are a new creature. Therefore, what Jennifer stated at the conference this weekend is true, “Who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing.”
Where are you today? Are you living in the lie that you will always be the girl who (blank)? Or are you living in the truth that you are a new creation created in Christ Jesus to do good works? (Eph 1)
If you struggle with defining yourself by your struggles, I encourage you to replace the statement above with this statement:
I will always be the girl who Christ made new!
Take the truth found in II Corinthians 5:17 and write it on your heart. Put it in front of you so that you constantly remember the truth and can overcome the lies!
Join us again this week for a look at our true identity in comparison with the marital status box we check!