Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7)
Your identity is a tricky thing.
When people ask, “Where is your home?” Do you tell them about your current address, or talk about your childhood?
There is the impression that others have about you. Then there is the real you. And then there is what you believe about yourself, your impression of yourself. What you see in the mirror.
Your identity is healthiest when you are believing that what God says about you is absolutely true. Not the version of you that others see. Not even the image of yourself that you see—and often it’s a version we struggle with, or blindly misunderstand, or we have learned to limit this identity to be much smaller and “safe” than God says it is.
Learn something from the disciple John and remember it this week. If you were to ask John who he is, his answer would focus on whose he is. Much like my truck would say “I’m a Ford” or my laptop would answer “I’m a Mac.”
In writing the book of the Bible that bears his name, the gospel of John, the disciple John identifies himself as the one Jesus loves.
You are loved. And because of it, you recognize Jesus for who he is, like John did. “It is the Lord.”
No matter how much you argue with that, how little you believe it, how much you’ve forgotten over the years about it, how sinful you are, or how disappointed you are in God. You can’t change who you are in the eyes of Jesus, and the heart of God.
Hmmm. Maybe that’s my new answer to people who ask, “How are you today?”
It would say a lot to them. And to me. I need that, don’t you?
PRAYER: Jesus, I believe that I am loved. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Slow down, breath more slowly, clarify in your mind who you see yourself to be, and how this differs from who God says you are. Use the PRAY acronym.
- Praise (tell God what you appreciate about your identity)
- Repent (tell God about your distrust and denial of your identity, what lies you believe about yourself, and tell him you believe that you are loved)
- Ask (go ahead, think big, or focus on a small detail, God wants to hear it all, where do you need his help being who you really are?)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)