For a deeper exploration of this content, subscribe to this week’s devotional newsletter.
I’m all about conflict that produces positive results. If the process gets contentious, I’m okay with that. In my humble opinion, the end always justifies the means. It’s the part of my identity that took a while to accept. Once I discovered my spiritual gifts it made more sense. Studying Jesus’ confrontations with the Pharisees not only teaches me how to deal with conflict in a biblical way, but it also— I admit— gives me powerful rebuttal to people who suggest that my method is not aligned with my identity as a devout Christian.
I’ve learned so much from Jesus about managing complaints, false accusations, and uninformed opinions about my identity. In John 8, Jesus told the Pharisees that he was the light of the world and they challenged him. In this week’s newsletter I’ll go through some specific biblical lessons on identity but this post is focused on the tools to help you discover who you are.
We discover our fingers and toes while we’re still in our mothers’ tummies. As toddlers we learn to walk, talk, and use the bathroom on our own. In those early years we discover much of what we can do. From that point, discovery of who we are takes center stage. From rebellious adolescence through boundary-defining 20s and 30s on to boundary setting 40s and beyond, we establish our identity. Those of us who develop a strong sense of identity through those years seem to thrive while those of us who haven’t taken the time to understand who we are often struggle in relationships, career, and life itself.
BEYOND THE BOARD™, our online course on identity, uses life coaching tools to help people better connect with God. You can do thousands of quizzes, read hundreds of books, and spend a fortune on workshops and courses, but if you don’t spend time with God, you’ll never figure out who you really are. Jesus was clear on this in John 8. He basically tells the Pharisees that he knows he’s the light of the world because God said so.
Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation are people who want crops without plowing up the ground.Frederick Douglass
Genesis 1:27 says that we are created in God’s image. Psalms 8:5 says we are a little lower than the angels. Those are great verses that help us better understand who we are as God’s creation. However, God has given you a specific identity and a unique purpose. That level of specificity will only come from your heart through the whispers of God.
The quote from Frederick Douglass above doesn’t just help me embrace my identity. It also reminds me that anything we want to do for good— for God, will have opposition that requires forceful, intentional action. Identity exploration gives you greater self-confidence because it helps you develop a clear understanding of who God says you are. It helps to eliminate doubt. With less doubt, you’ll have less fear. With less fear, you’ll have the courage to live God’s purpose instead of people-pleasing or conforming to society. These five things are absolutely necessary to live a peaceful, joyful, powerful life.
Prayer, talk to God and spend time with Him
Bible Study, get to know God better and how much He loves you
Reflect on Your Past, know your story, accept it, and write it down
Explore Your Values, know what you need
Define Your Goals, know what you want and why
Becoming who God says you are will take time, focus, and hard work. It will be a struggle. Do it anyway.