Do you worry about what people think about you? Do you often change clothes several times before you leave the house because you just aren't sure you look good? Do you end your day with a mental review of everything you said, wish you'd said, or regret that you said? Do you try really hard to make the right impression to all the right people?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, well, welcome to the human race!
I've got ten truths to help you do just that. But first, what do I mean by tending to your identity and is it okay to do so?
Sometimes we may think that focusing on our identity is self-serving. We may fear that paying too much attention to ourselves might lead to some weird kind of spiritual narcissism.
But, we don't invest in or grow in our identity so we can become full of ourselves and our own importance.
No, we tend to our identity so we won't be the first and biggest thing on our minds all the time.
As John taught us, when we decrease, God increases in our lives (John 3:30 ESV).
Think of it like this. I will use my thumb –what I came to call my dumb thumb as an example.
I scraped the cuticle on my left thumb on a wicker rocker a few months ago and well, you don’t want to know the details but let’s just say pain shot up my left arm and it turned out to be far worse than a scrape.
At first, my thumb throbbed and bled. For days, I tried to ignore it, thinking it would just get better. I kept it bandaged as it hurt more and more.Finally when I thought I could bear even removing the bandage, the extent of the damage was far worse than I imagined. No cuticle and the nail was exposed to the matrix. (I know, I know. Sorry. Gross.)
Finally, I went to the doctor and learned that, thanks to my neglect, it was infected. I got an antibiotic and was told I would probably lose the nail.
Okay, okay, I know it is gross. Done with the dumb thumb for now. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.
My thumb is a good example of how and why we need to tend to our identity. Our culture, broken people and the enemy bumps into our identity and scrapes and injures our sense of who we are and how much we are loved by God. "You aren't good enough" or "You should be thinner" or "You can't do anything right" or "You should be as smart, successful, or sexy as she is." Those are the kinds of splinters that rip into our identity and leave our souls bleeding, injured, and weak.