“By default, where do you place your confidence (or comfort) instead of Christ?” My coworker asked us at one of our recent meetings.
Other people’s approval, I said to myself. I hate it when people get upset with me, like when I accidentally bump into someone at the grocery store, or when my dog unexpectedly barks at a stranger after I just assured them that she’s friendly! God keeps challenging me to realize that a good reputation is not all it seems.
Crippling is the word I’d use to describe how I feel. I’ve made a habit of putting my confidence and hope in other people’s approval so much that I feel ruined when I don’t get it. I feel terrible and get so hard on myself. I shouldn’t have done that. I wish I had said this to make things better. Maybe if I acted differently, they’d like me!
Mind-reading, should haves, what ifs… none of those are in the Bible, I'll tell you that. They are all strategies that the enemy uses to make us believe that we have some sort of power. The enemy wants us to think that we can be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). It’s tempting to want to be in control of it all; but even control itself can’t satisfy our hungry souls.
My coworker challenged us with a phrase he often tells himself: “My identity in Christ can handle it”. That really struck me. I’m sort of a sucker for one-liners, but they really do help me because they’re easy to remember and recite to myself and others.
My identity in Christ can handle it when my friend gets upset with me. My identity in Christ can handle that stranger’s annoyance. My identity in Christ can handle that person’s disapproval of my choices. My identity in Christ can handle it all – because Jesus handled it all for me!
Everything else is worthless in comparison to Christ. I trust Jesus with my whole life and that means his power – all that is his – is also mine!
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10)
If you believe in Jesus, your identity in him can handle anything that you’re struggling with. Seek to know him more – it is far more valuable than any other thing you could put your confidence in.
Lord Jesus, I want to get rid of my desire for all things that are not from you. I want to discard everything else, count it all as garbage, because you are so much better! You are worth my whole heart, soul and mind. I trust you today and I gain you in my life. Thank you because I can put my whole confidence in you and you will never ever fail me.
Here is a helpful resource: See Yourself as God Sees You
Song of Encouragement: "All I Have is Christ"
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