It’s not uncommon that members email me prior to starting the 21-Day Challenge to tell me a bit about themselves.
Although I’m not insensitive to what they’ve gone through, I can quickly see how some women define themselves by their struggles.
In our program, we call this ‘false identities’.
“Hi, I’m Mary. I’m excited to start the Challenge, but first I want you to know that I’m a single mother of 3 children because my husband left me.”
“Hi, I’m . You should know that I was molested as a child.”
“Hi, I’m Jane and I’m 68 years old. I’m sure I’m a lot older than a lot of your other participants.”
Why do we feel the need to do this?
You are so much more than your past, your circumstances, or who the world has labeled you to be.
I get it. I used to do the same thing, “Hi, I’m Cathy. I’m a single mother.”
That was my response whenever someone asked me to tell a bit about myself.
It was my way of bringing people into my struggle. I had so much identified myself with my circumstances, that I felt that I need to let everyone know that I was somehow damaged because of my situation.
Being a single mother became my false identity. It gave me a reason why I would not be successful. It gave me an excuse as to why I could not afford to buy certain things; why I could not participate in certain activities; or why I could not spare the time to go places.
It becomes my scapegoat.
Over time, the false identities we give ourselves become survival tools that we use so we can disqualify ourselves (before someone else does it), or give ourselves a handicap so people can lower their expectations because of what we’ve been through.
It gives us an excuse for why we will not be successful.
For me, I was somehow saying, because I’m a single mother, you need to not expect as much from me—which is nonsense!!! It’s funny, most of us would rather define ourselves with our story/circumstance or situation than to define ourselves in light of how God sees us. Imagine how different things would be if you introduced yourself like this:
“Hi, I’m , I’m a daughter of the Most High God. I am who God says I am and I can do all that God says I can do. My life is blessed and highly favored, and I prosper in all I do.”
Imagine how people would react to that kind of introduction! People would suddenly stand up and pay attention to you. People would stop dismissing you, and most importantly, you would stop dismissing yourself!
In the Bible
God continually teaches us that our standards are not His standards. His perspective is very different from ours. As God sends the prophet Samuel out to choose a new king, we see this principle at work.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
God did not say, I’ll take the ruddy one who tends sheep, as he referred to David. He knew his potential. He knew his future, just as He knows yours!
Understand these two principles, my sister
1. Your past story does not dictate your future success. Your identity does not have to determine your destiny. You can write a new story. (Philippians 3:12-14)
2. Your perception of yourself should align with God’s perception of you. When God looks at you, he does not see what you see. He does not see flaws or imperfections. He sees his masterpieces. (Ephesians 4:24 and Ephesians 2:10)
What’s your story that you’re constantly repeating?
- Maybe it’s your weight, your fibromyalgia, your disability, your age, your poor self-esteem, your slow metabolism, your abuse.
- Beloved, it’s not who you are. It does not, and should not define you.
- It’s not the reason why you can’t achieve all that God has for you.
- It’s not why you can’t lose weight.
God wants to do something new in your life, regardless of who you believe you are or are not. The next time you feel the need to share your false identity with others . . .
1. Stop and take notice of how you’re defining yourself.
2. Remind yourself of who God says you are.
3. Choose a scripture that you will use every time you find yourself repeating your ‘story’ or false identity.
I would love to hear some of your scriptures or declarations. Please share yours below.
P.S. if you are tired of circling the same mountain over and over and want a Christ-centered approach to lasting weight loss without feeling guilty, deprived, or overwhelmed, be sure to sign up for our video course program right away at cathymorenzie.com