Posts Tagged ‘Identity’
The comparison game. We’d never admit that we play it. But we do. Sometimes it creeps into our thoughts when we meet someone new (usually another woman.) We size her up, taking in what she’s wearing, how much make-up she has on, what she says, how she acts and the little question we might not even realize is effecting our encounter is “Am I better than her?” Am I prettier? Do I dress better? How do I measure up against her?
I used to struggle with this lie more than I’d like to admit. Thinking back on it now I realize the reason I played this little game of comparing was that I wasn’t secure in who I was. I was always seeking that next thing that could make me feel good about myself. If it was at the expense of another person than that was good enough for me.
It hurts my heart to know that so many women struggle with this desire to compare. It’s often the reason our encounters with each other can be so caddy. It’s definitely the reason I hate going to bridal and baby showers where the room is thick with the tension of comparison. It hurts me to know the reason we succumb to this form of interaction is because of our own insecurity. Why do we allow other people to decide how we feel about ourselves?
The only answer I have found to overcome this comparison game is love. Love is the answer. It may be difficult at first but if we approach our encounters with love we won’t have to compare ourself to someone else. This is just one more step in helping us overcome our insecurity.
Once we’ve realized our own insecurity and begin to overcome it, our eyes began to open and see that most other people (especially women) struggle with their own insecurity as well. If we know the truth and are working to overcome our own lies, love is what drives us to share that same freedom with those who may not know.
Comparison is just the enemy’s tactic to keep us blind to the fact that we need each other. We need each other to fight this battle. We need to link arms and pick each other up when we fall. We need to stop thinking that other women are the enemy and realize the enemy is pitting us against each other.
How much more could we do together than alone?
Let’s destroy these lies once and for all. Let’s not forget who we have been called to be as women and let’s remember that we are all in this together.
Our society today has caused many women to buy into this lie. To make it in this “world of men” we believe we have to be ruthless, cut-throat and sometimes even heartless in our approach to our success. Sometimes we think, “How else are we going to be noticed in this world run by men?”
I’ve struggled with this very lie, allowing it to distort who I was. I began to deny my heart as a woman and ultimately became someone I was never supposed to be. A fake, trying too hard to make myself stand out. Trying too hard to cover up the fact that I’m a woman. Why? Because I believed these thoughts the world has distorted.
- Women can’t handle the same things men can.
- Women are weaker then men.
- Women are too emotional to handle things.
So I began to be competitive, trampling over the people I worked with instead of helping, and encouraging them along. I made my heart numb to the heartache I encounter in my job so that I wouldn’t have the urge to cry. I even started dressing less feminine just so the men I worked with would know they couldn’t poke fun at me for being a girl any longer. The problem was, the more I became something I wasn’t, the less strength and power I actually had. The more energy I used trying to cover up who I was, the more I actually made those thoughts up there a reality. Discovering the truth was a liberating revelation that has catapulted my influence and recharged my confidence.
Lie: You’re Nobody Unless You’re as Strong and as Successful as Men
Truth: There is Strength in Being a Woman.
When we begin to realize that we have been given tremendous strength in who we are as women, I believe that is what will make us stand out. Instead of trying to hide our femininity we need to learn to embrace it and work from the strength that our identity brings us. A woman at rest in who she is, is a powerful thing. A woman secure in who God has created her to be, is a weapon in His armery, perfectly poised to take down the unique conflicts the enemy throws our way.
Share your own story. Have you felt the tension of being a woman in “a man’s world”? What obstacles have you had to face? How have you overcome them?
It’s time we take back our identity as women and live from the strength that our uniqueness brings us.
This lie has so many women addicted to the gym. It has their wallets stretched thin with the latest beauty products, fashions and specialties all promising to keep them looking beautiful. It encourages women to seek medical advice about the shape of their nose, or the size of their stomach. It’s deception keeps our noses in magazines and our eyes on what the world has told us is the standard of beauty.
You’re Nobody Unless You’re Pretty
Pretty to who? Pretty to your husband? Pretty to your friends, co-workers, parents, siblings, or strangers? Who are we asking to answer this question? Are they not giving us the answers we want? Are they not satisfying our need for validation in the area of our image? Why do we continue to strive for beauty and yet every time we look in the mirror we see the same old thing?
Maybe because we’re asking the wrong people. Maybe because we’re letting the wrong people decide what the standard of beauty should be. Have you ever asked yourself if you think you’re beautiful? What did you say? Therein lies your answer.
Ladies, until we begin to feel beautiful on the inside there is no amount of primping, prepping or plucking that can make us feel beautiful on the outside.
We must come to rest with who we are before we can look in the mirror and actually believe the truth that we are beautiful. (Read that again.) We must come to rest with who we are before we can look in the mirror and believe the truth that WE ARE BEAUTIFUL! God’s Word says, “The King is enthralled with your beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord.”–Psalms 45:11. That is truth, girls! We have been made in the image of GOD. Why do we have such a hard time believing it? Maybe because we haven’t learned to accept ourselves for who we are yet. Maybe because we haven’t learned to love ourselves. How do we expect to accept God’s love for us, if we don’t even love ourselves? Believe me, it won’t work. I know from experience.
So maybe the reflection of the mirror isn’t where we start. Maybe a better question to ask ourselves is, “What is the reflection of my heart? Have I accepted myself for who God made me to be? Have I accepted His love for me, and His truth that I am beautiful?”
Asking these questions and seeking the truth in them is a great first step in accepting who you are. Here are three more steps to help you on the journey:
1. Write down the top three physical things you don’t like about yourself. Do you have the power to change these things? Do it!
2. Write down the top five physical things you LOVE about yourself.
3. Spend time in Gods word seeking scriptures about what He thinks of you. Start memorizing these.
You’re Nobody Unless You’re Pretty
Your Beauty Makes the King of the Universe Gasp in Shock
No, it’s not just the song from Dean Martin, unfortunately, it is the lie so many of us as women believe.
I lived much of my single years with this kind of mindset. I thought that life didn’t actually start until I had found the right man and married him. This lie is so ingrained in our society that even my grandmother, pulling me aside at my rehearsal dinner, said, “Now you’re life has really begun.” I know so many sinlge ladies that have also bought in to this mind set. In the back of their minds they have that niggling thought: “Well, I’ll just put this off untill I’m married. I’ll just put off getting into shape. I’ll just put off starting my career. I’ll just put off starting that ministry. I’ll just put these things off until my life has really begun.
Single ladies aren’t the only ones who struggle with this lie. I’ve met with married ladies who admit, with fear in their eyes, that they don’t know what they would do if their husband left them. Their identities are so wrapped up in their husbands that even the slightest argument sends them spirialing in fear and doubt about their relationship.
Why? Because we believe the lie that: You’re Nobody ’till Somebody Loves You.
I say, we need to rebel against this lie! What a horrible, self-degrating thing to believe about ourselves! By believing this lie we are saying to the world that our worth, our significance, our identity is left up to the fickle mind of another human being! This lie has got to go! We are too valuable to believe such a thing. Don’t you see what the enemy is trying to do?
“Than what’s the answer? How do we climb out of this well of lies?”
We do it with truth. We do it together.
Lie: You’re Nobody ’till Sombody Loves You.
Truth: Somebody already loves you!
I know what you must be thinking. “Oh, that’s easy for you to say, you’re already married.” Or “Anna, I’ve heard that one all my life. Got anything better?” Let me ask you this: What is better than knowing that Jesus Christ, The God of the universe, is absolutely, incredibly, unconditionally, and irrationally in love with you! Yes, you! If you’re looking for something better than that, I’d say you really haven’t come to grips with just how amazingly outstanding that statement, that truth, really is! He doesn’t just love you, He’s in love and loving you right now. He loved you even before you were born. He loved you so much He decided that giving up his life for you was worth it. Now what is our life worth to us? He’s the only Man who will ever truly satisfy you. He’s the Warrior our hearts were made for. We’re the maidens He’s risked His life for! Just writing about this gives me goosebumps. Just thinking about it makes me want to raise my hands in worship. Jesus loves me! Jesus loves you! You are somebody to someone! THE SOMEONE!
What do you need to do this week to get that through your head? Do you need to confess some sin so you can experience God’s beautiful grace? Do you need to forgive yourself so you can began to see what God sees when He looks at you? Do you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and realize just how blessed you are with the things you DO have instead of focusing on the things you don’t? What do you need to start that you have been putting off?
You’re Nobody ’till Somebody Loves You
You’re Everything to the Only Somebody Who Truly Matters.
That should be enough to last a life-time!
What does a woman look like today?
Maybe a better question is: what should a woman look like today? We all knew what a woman looked like back in the 1950s.
They were the portrait of duty, stepping in to handle things even when the men went off to war.
But only 2 decades later we see women rising up in protest, demanding that we have the same rights as men.
So that just makes me wonder, what does the woman look like today? In our fast-paced, instant-gratifying culture, with no real sense of absolute, truth I realized, we don’t really know what a woman looks like today. I blame most of this on the fact that we’ve been believing lies since the beginning of time. In the garden, Eve was deceived by the serpent, and ever since then we’ve been allowing that same deceiver to whisper lies into our minds.
- You’re nobody unless somebody loves you.
- You’re nobody unless you’re pretty.
- You’re nobody unless you’re as strong, as good and as successful as your male counterparts.
- You’re nobody unless you’re better than somebody else.
The father of lies, uses lies to steal the one thing he knows would give us power, if we just believed it: Our Identity.
He wants to steal our identity. If he can effectively steal our identity he knows he’s pulled the shade over our eyes. He knows we’ll fall for whatever charade he prances before us, whatever insecurity we allow to dominate our thoughts, words, and actions.
But I say, it’s time to declare war on these lies. It’s time to get a little sweaty, get a little bloody, and use the weapons we’ve been given to fight this battle we all face. We don’t have to believe these lies any longer. It’s time to take back our identity and find out what we as women truly look like.
Often times I run into people who are discontent with the role they play. Whether that be a student, a leader or someone I’m meeting with, I’ll often hear these words: “I just don’t feel like I play a very vital role.” Or “Sometimes I wonder if what I do matters.”
Let me ask a question: Do you play a vital role, or a value role? Both are equally important, but each one has it’s own characteristics.
Vital roles tend to be those roles that are more visual or out in the open.
Value roles are roles that tend to stay behind the scenes, directing, coaching, and giving support.
The interesting thing about these roles is that one can’t survive without the other. They both need each other to reach their common goal. It reminds me of this scripture:
“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.”–1 Corinthians 12:18-19
So which role do you play? If you know it, play it well, stop wishing you played a different role, and be thankful God has chosen you to play a role in HIS story.
I’m not talking about social security cards and driver’s licenses, I’m talking about identity: the condition of being oneself; the sense of self, providing sameness and continuity in personality over time.
I work with lots of people in my job, co-workers, volunteers, students, parents, and everyday I observe people who either have a very strong sense of identity, or those who have no idea who they are. Here are 5 signs you may not know who you are.
1. You copy the behavior of whoever seems cool at the time.
2. You dabble in a vast variety of hobbies and activities, never committing to one or the other.
3. You’re opinions are either never shared, or always easily swayed.
4. You crave the praise and admiration of other people–Actually you almost need it to survive.
5. You’re often doubting, dogging, or down on yourself.
Can you think of anymore to share?
I’ve struggled myself in this area of identity, but following these next 5 steps, your identity will slowly be revealed.
1. Ask God to show you who you are. Everyday, until He does.
2. Find a trusted older friend or mentor who has a strong sense of identity. Ask them to help you in your journey to finding yours.
3. Take various personality, spiritual gifts, and strengths finder tests. These are tools to help us discover who we are.
4. Quit prostituting your emotions on other people. Get a grip on yourself and act like an adult!
5. Believe in who God has made you to be. You’ll never be good at being someone else!