I was tempted to title this post ‘Identity Crisis’ but that would have just covered a part of what I intended to talk about with this post. As you may have seen from my previous posts, I talk about some of my experiences as a teacher in a school on the mend, on the bend?! I’m not an English teacher, thank GOD!! I also talk about what speaks to me as I go through the my Bible in the Year reading plan via the YouVersion® Bible app. And other topics in between.
Both these main sections came together this evening* to inform this post. In 1st Kings 1, there was a record of the people that were involved in king David’s handover of his reign to his succeeding son, Solomon. Adonijah/Benaiah the son, Nathan the prophet, Zadok/Abiathar the priest, Bathsheba the mother, Joab the captain, Abishag the Shunamite, and so on. If you look at these three-word phrases, what do you notice is common to all of them?
The ‘the‘ is common to all (I hope that makes sense, if not, re-read?)
Now that stood out to me as I read those passages of Scripture, and I got the thought:
WHAT IS MY ‘THE’?
WHAT WILL BE THE ONE WORD USED TO SUM UP MY LIFE?
WHEN PEOPLE SEE ME, WHAT WILL THEY SEE?
You may not know this but I’m a recovering bothered-by-people’s-opinions addict. And so what people said or how I perceived they acted towards me got inside me than it should. In my time so far in Manchester, GOD has been doing a deep work in my heart and reminding me on numerous occasions how much HE loves me just the way I am and I can do NOTHING to earn or de-earn that LOVE!
As per how this relates to my current job, yesterday and today*, two pupils called me a muppet to my face. Eight months ago, that would have done wonders to the rest of my day if you know what I mean. But I was able to get over it in less than two minutes. I even had a laugh with a colleague and googled what Muppets looked like just in case I was dressed as one . . . on both days . . . lol.
Image credit: Wikia
Now imagine if I got my identity from what people said or behaved to me, I’d have spent un-worthy time internalising what was said and react instead of respond to the situation as a child of GOD. I’d have been mad as a disturbed bee’s nest, reacted in anger, entered into an argument, called for war, etc!
But not any more, GLORY to GOD!! It became something to laugh about and I knew then, that GOD was again reminding me of how far HE has brought me in healing my heart to be ‘bothered’ with only my identity in HIM.
About eight months ago, a work colleague called me ‘lazy’ to my face and insisted he was right in saying so even after I’d challenged him that he shouldn’t say that again in as much politeness as I could muster. I cried (a bit) after he said so. It hurt so much! It really did. I told my people who cared about me and it almost became my goal to prove him wrong (thank GOD I didn’t bother with that!!) but it wasn’t really pretty after that.
Fast forward to present times, when GOD has and is doing a deep heart work in me and I can move past others’ comments or opinions swiftly and just hand them over to GOD, look at HIS face and know HE’s pleased with me, it’s just beautiful to live life free of the weights of real or imagined opinions/thoughts of others.
Image credit: Faith City Church
Like Bill Johnson of Bethel Church says, I must not entertain any thoughts of me that GOD does not think of me. GOD does not think of me as muppet, GOD does not think of me as lazy (even if I act lazy at times, it doesn’t DEFINE me).
Finally, I used to hope others think/say: “She’s organised”; “She’s clever”; “She’s smart”; etc.
But in recent times, what I sense the Holy Spirit telling me is to change those thoughts to wanting others to say/think/see: “She’s a christian.”; “She’s a child of GOD.” With no acting, no pretence, just my nature-al behaviour every single day, consistently.
So what have you let define your identity that does not line up with the WORD of GOD? It’s time to ditch those false labels, and fully embrace who GOD says you are: Fearfully and wonderfully made [Psalms 139 : 14], called by HIS name [Isaiah 43 : 1]; carrying HIS SPIRIT inside you [Romans 5 : 5] and those many Bible verses that need to make the transition from our head to our heart.
To your continued, deepened conviction that you’re a child of GOD, [1st John 3 : 1]
*today = date of drafting this post ≠ date of publishing