Challenge, History, Identity, Insecurity

The Loss of Identity and the Prison of Self II

A Thirty Day Devotional adapted from the NEW book: Identity: The Distinctiveness of You – Day 9

I am in Jesus Christ’s hands. John 10:28

I am God’s house. Hebrews 3:6

The more self-consumed we become, the more our identity is inhibited.  Being self-consumed provokes a self-centered focus.  We will never find an identity within ourselves of our own making.  It will be false and have no basis to live life.  It will be like the teenager who changes from year to year, trying to find where they fit in life and where they fit among their peers.

I Peter 1:18 tells us, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.”  I am not here to blame anything on your parents or family line, but what I do desire to do is to cause you to think about what was “handed down” to you.  What were some of those identity-forming beliefs handed down to you?  What were those prisons that you readily accepted without question because they are all you know?

I had a friend who was fearful of meeting new people.  He would literally quiver, get his words mixed up and shy away from any setting where this might happen to him.  One day we were talking about his history and he revealed to me that his mother lived in a constant state of fear of strangers.

One example he shared was that while growing up on a rural Pennsylvania farm, his father worked away from the farm during the day.  So that left his mother, him, and siblings home alone.  Regularly, a traveling salesperson, grain or feed truck operator would show up.  My friend’s mother would lock the door and then hide herself with all of the children in a small, dark closet.  There they would stay quietly until the stranger would leave.

To this day, my friend is in a self-imposed prison when it comes to meeting new people.  

It is important to ask ourselves a question about life itself, including our past life, our present situation and even our future thoughts: who determines or who makes decisions for us? And what part does God have in those decisions?  If we allow life circumstances to direct those thoughts, or empower someone else to speak over us and determine who we are, then we are allowing someone or something else to determine our identity.  We are given a choice to become what life hands us or to be different. 

Jesus expressed to us that we were to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and to follow Him.  What an opposite piece of advice from what we hear on a daily basis through our modern-day culture.  How could one “deny themselves” and yet feel better about themselves?  Never did Jesus state that what we do for Him is who we are. 

As Christ lives in you, you become His hands and his feet. You represent the King of kings and you are His holy temple. While we appreciate our church buildings, they are not holy or the “house of the Lord.” You are the house of the Lord; He lives in you to do His work on the earth. And, you can do all things in Christ.

Question for reflection:

If you are living in a self-imposed prison, how can you move out of that place and be all that Christ is calling you to be?

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2 thoughts on “The Loss of Identity and the Prison of Self II

  1. Jim Orred says:

    Steve, your latest content is ‘fire’ as my young friends would say. Thought-provoking and stimulating, in my words. Helpful perspective. And I do love the bite-size portions you deliver it in.

    I wish we lived closer!



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