Where does your Identity come from?

Where does your Identity come from?

We live in a society which constantly tells us how to fit in. How to dress, what to buy, who to look like. In the middle of this pressure, as Christians, we really need to ask ourselves this question: Where does our identity and self worth come from?

Throughout my entire life, there is something deep within me that yearns to fit in. To be accepted. To be loved and affirmed by the people around me. This is something that dwells deep within each of us. Whether we are accepted, or not accepted, can have a massive effect on us and our self esteem.

One of the most emotionally defining moments in my life happened when I was 13, and defined the way I thought about myself immensely. I’ve been, and continue to be on, a real journey of not allowing it to shape the way I feel about myself. 

The Defining Moment

When I was 13, I had a makeover and photoshoot, which was a wonderful experience! I loved getting glammed up, and pampered. For several days I waited in anticipation for the photos to be sent to me, and a few days after the shoot I received them. I hadn’t had a Facebook account for very long, as I waited until my 13th birthday to get it. I was very eager to share the photos with my friends and family! Little did I know that the reaction I received from people would define me and my attitude towards myself. Comments like ‘I cant believe it’s you!’ ‘You look so much better in these photos.’ ‘You should do your make up like this for school!’.

From that day forward, I never went a day at school without straightening or curling my hair, wearing make up, and I went straight to the opticians to get contact lenses. I honestly felt like I wouldn’t be liked with no make up and glasses, because I received the affirmation I sought when people saw the pictures of me from the photoshoot. My daily routine tripled in length, all to try to fit in and be liked by others. There is nothing wrong with make up or contact lenses, but I honestly felt like I couldn’t be liked without them. 

So often, we  spend so much time trying to fit in, but God calls us to stand out.

Matt 5:13-16 (NIV)

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The salt of the earth

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (Matthew 5:13).

I love the illustration of salt, because it has two incredible properties: flavour and preservation. We are called to bring God’s flavour to the people we meet, and to preserve, or take care of, the world in which we live.

Light of the world

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14–16).

In the first century, light was created by lamps. The picture of someone lighting a lamp and then putting it under a clay pot would have been quite humorous. The only reason to light a lamp was so you could see, and just like Jesus suggested, you would place that lamp in a place where it could give off as much light as possible.

We are called to radiate the love of God to our communities, not to hide the hope we carry!

What words do we accept over our lives?

There is tremendous power in words. After all, God used words to speak creation into existence.

 We cannot control the words spoken over us, but we can choose what we place our belief in. You may have had negativity spoken over by those you trust. It can be incredibly painful, but do all that you can to guard and protect your heart.

Solomon told his son, “Listen closely to my words… Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:20;23)

We need to pay less attention about what others say about us, and more about what God says. You are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), you have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) and you are alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)! When you are unsure of your identity, focus on Scripture, on the truths that God speaks over you. 

What do we speak over other people?

The words you say to others are powerful. They can lift someone up, or tear them down! A careless word can affect someone for such a long time. The comments written about me when I was 13 were not spiteful or said to harm me, but they were careless, and had a profound effect on how I viewed myself.

One of Julian’s favourite bible verses is Proverbs 11:11: Good people bless and build up their city, but the wicked destroy it with their words. 

Be an encourager, someone who builds up with words. We remember people who have spoken positive words over us, who have been constant encouragers of us.

Call out the best in people!

Think back through the past few days. When you spoke to others, what did they hear? Was it poison? Or was it life-giving words?

  • Write an encouraging letter to someone you care about.
  • It might be someone you have hurt, or even yourself.
  • Or it might be someone you just want to encourage!


Where do you find your identity? Is there a particular verses you lean on in times of insecurity?

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