A life hidden in Christ is the truest form of self-discovery we can attain. Learn the difference between using your unique strengths for your own glory and surrendering them to bring God glory. Leslie answers questions about personality, finding fulfillment, and maximizing your unique talents in this week’s episode by uncovering Jesus’ pattern for individuality as defined by His Word.
There is a message that is growing in popularity that says to discover and be ourselves is the equivalent of shining God’s light to the world. Sadly, this message is not only circulated in the culture but has crept into the church as well. Here are some popular catch phrases of the day found in Christian resources:
God smiles when He see you being you!
God wants to unleash you. Let your inhibitions go and celebrate who you are.
Learn to be you and let the world deal with it.
While these mantras might sound freeing and appealing at first, the biblical pattern for becoming the person God intends us to be is vastly different. The Gospel repeatedly emphasizes that the key to finding ourselves is not in self-discovery, self-esteem, or self-fulfillment but in self-denial and self-abandonment (see Matthew 16:24). Contrary to popular belief, clinging tightly to our own individuality does not ensure that we will be greatly used for the Kingdom of God. Instead, we must surrender our gifts and talents back to Jesus Christ.
Look at Jesus’ earthly ministry. His unique strengths were not maximized while He walked the earth, rather He lowered himself to be born as a humble baby in a manger, rather than arrive in the splendor of a royal monarch. Instead of being surrounded by fanfare, He lived as a simple carpenter. And rather than being treated as Lord of the earth, He took the position of servant to wash the feet of those who were not worthy even to loose the strap of His sandal. Jesus willingly chose to lay down His personal right to applause and made Himself of no reputation – and He calls us to embrace the same attitude.
God may chose to utilize your unique strengths and gifts to build His Kingdom, but we must first surrender those gifts back to Him to use at His appointed time. We see this pattern in both the Apostle Paul’s life (who was hidden for 12 years in Arabia) and Moses’ life (who spent 40 years in the desert) as they endured extended seasons of anonymity before they could be used for God’s purposes.
Ask God to show you any areas where you’ve been clinging to your right to be noticed because of your unique strengths, talents, and personality and be willing to be like the grain of wheat which willingly fell to the ground to die that it could produce much grain (see John 12:24).
One of the enemy’s persuasive tactics today against women is that of self-analysis. When we spend our time and energy introspectively trying to answer the question, “Who am I?” we are kept from answering the one question that truly matters and can set us free from self – Who is HE? If you know who God is, you will understand who you are. Only when our identity becomes wrapped up in Jesus will we discover what it means to truly be found in Him.
Let your life be defined by who Christ says you are – a daughter of the King, a servant of the Most High, and found in Christ alone. Allow His nature, attitude, love, and life to be your distinguishing characteristics and fight for His glory rather than your own individuality! When we surrender to embrace the titles we have been given in Christ, a new prayer will come from our hearts, “Lord, may I be more and more like You.”
To take this concept deeper, read Leslie’s article, Sacred Identity, here. Or check out the online course True Identity available in our online course collection here.