I, like you, have had quite a few titles in my life. Some titles have come from accomplishments, which I am proud of, and but there are other aspects of my identity that I wish to forget.
When I reflect on my childhood, I realize that so much has changed. Compared to my values in high school and the way I spent my time then, what I stand for now reflects a completely different person than I used to be. I've grown up, matured, and zeroed in on my goals and dreams. There's been much that has changed over the years, but there's one thing that has remained the same: Jesus and his Gospel. My foundation and purpose has remained the same since I surrendered my life to Christ 22 years ago.
While Jesus has been my solid foundation for the better part of my life, I often have a tendency to define myself by my circumstances instead of my Savior.
When I was in high school I was a cheerleader and the homecoming queen. When I made my first album I was a singer and worship leader. When I first got married I was a newlywed and TC's wife. When I moved away from family, I defined myself as lonely. When I broke my diet once again, I was a failure. When I took a pay cut to for a new job, I was broke and worthless.
Although I can use these words to define a small part of myself in a season, this is not what truly defines me. I must quit using the same adjectives I that explain my present feelings to define the core of who I am and what I exist for.
Can you imagine if Jesus defined Himself by his circumstances on earth instead of who His Father in heaven said He was? He would have been just a poor carpenter instead of the King of Kings. He would have been mere flesh and bones, rather than God incarnate. He would have believed and buckled under the weight of the label “crazy,” instead of resting in the knowledge that He was pioneering the New Covenant that was far beyond what earthly minds could dream up. If He would have defined Himself by His circumstances, He would have died as a confused criminal on a cross; however, because He knew who He was, he confidently died, rose again, and is still reigning as the Savior of the world.
When we surrender our lives and follow Christ, we become His children, His disciples, and His beloved. Our current circumstances will come and go, but Who our Jesus is will always stay the same. Jesus came to earth and lived among people like you and I, but He kept a heavenly mindset. As a result, Jesus changed the world forever and He has empowered us to do the same. In Matthew 5:3, Jesus was quick to remind the disciples: “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He went on to say in v.10, “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Then, in v.11, He explains that when people utter evil against you and give you false labels, “rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”
So while today you may find yourself single, in debt, promoted, popular, sick, or broken, that is not the core of who you are if you are a Christian. Jesus Christ is in control of our identities and destinies. That means that however you feel about yourself, or whatever season is coming next for you, good or bad, you are heavenbound. So do not allow who people say you are, what your current situation is, or what your past failures are determine your identity and direction. Just like Jesus, there is too much at stake for His Kingdom to allow earth to define who we are in heaven.
Today, rest in the fact that you are not your circumstances, your failures, or your successes. We boast only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the pressure release from your mind today, knowing that although you don’t have it all together, He does. If you’re poor in Spirit and overwhelmed, rest in Jesus, because the kingdom of heaven is yours.
You are His. That is who you are.