Overcoming A False Identity
If there is one thing that can suffocate a person in life, it is wearing a false identity. All of us were created with a purpose. We're not accidents. The world may tell us that we're accidents, but God's word says that we were "wonderfully and fearfully made" by God; therefore, it is not a mistake that we're here. The problem is this: as we go throughout life people tend to label us, and place expectations on us that may not be a part of God's design for our lives. Many people tend to go through life carrying so many labels and viewing themselves through so many people's eyes. Our parents tell us who they want us to be. Our friends try to keep us locked into who they think we ought to be. Our peers at work expect us to be a certain way. Society expects us to be a certain way. Even our families can hold unfair expectations of us. And sometimes, during the process of trying to be what everyone else wants us to be, we neglect to take time to discover who we are and what God wants us to be. Here are a couple of tips on defeating the "false identity" syndrome:
1. Understand that you weren't made by other people; you were made by God; so, only God has the right to tell you who and what to be. Study God's word to find out what He says about you and has promised to give you. Seek God in prayer for His will concerning your life. It's alright to listen to other people, but God takes priority over others and His word over their opinions and suggestions.
2. You must train others to see you the way you want to be seen. Oftentimes people will treat you a certain way only because you let them. If you put a demand on others to treat you with respect and let them know what you do and/or don't appreciate, they will respect that...even if they don't like it.
3. Be prepared to lose false friends when you decide to become the "you" designed for you to be. Not everyone will appreciate your decision to stop allowing them to shape your identity and use you as a door-mat. But it's a good thing when false friends fall off of you: that was just dead weight holding you down.
4. Forgive yourself for past mistakes. This is important. You must accept the fact that we all make mistakes. No one has lived a perfect life. Everyone has regrets. What makes you any different? When you make a mistake, learn from it rather than beat yourself up over it. Remember: the greatest and most successful people understood the power of failure and mistakes: you can you them to grow from or allow them to bury you. It's your choice.
5. Forgive others for the things they've said and done to you to hurt and destroy you. Remember: when you forgive others you release yourself from their grip. Their words and deeds no longer hold power over you. Forgiveness is for the purpose of setting us free, not freeing others. When someone else does you wrong, God will deal with them; they'll have to answer to God for it; their consciences may even be tormented as a result thereof. But don't you stoop to their level and allow their hatred, anger and bitterness to become yours. Rise above them and trust God with your life. When you choose to forgive, God will begin to order your steps; but if you choose not to forgive others, you also deprive yourself of God's forgiveness and guidance. That's just not worth it! So...forgive!!! And live on with your life. There is so much more you can be doing with your life than plotting revenge and singing the "Who done me wrong" jingle.
These were just a few tips for developing the right identity. I pray they blessed you. Take them. Apply them. Share them with others. And realize that it's time to introduce others to the new you, the real you.