This is said to be among the best times to be alive. I mean why not? There has been groundbreaking development in technology; life is being made easier and easier for us every day. With Google answering most of our questions, you can’t deny that the internet is heaven sent! We now have easy access to knowledge and information as well as faster communication. And social media! I personally don’t remember what I used to do with myself before I got acquainted with Facebook and Instagram!! But I’ve come to discover that even though the internet is a helpful tool to learn, do business, evangelize and so on and so forth, it also is the means through which most of us loose our identity and originality.
With millions of people, sites and TV shows telling us what’s currently trendy and acceptable in the society, we tend to lose who we really are so that we can fit in with what the world says we should be. We become less appreciative of our background, skin color, bodies and
beliefs just to mention a few. We put so much effort to fit in and look like the world. We go through a lot of pretending as well; spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people who don’t even like us to begin with! We hide our flaws, trying to paint a picture of perfection to fool the world while in reality we are only fooling ourselves.
I for one have fallen prey to this madness; I had struggled to find validation from people in everything that I wanted to do. Even decisions as a small as what to wear or buy, wouldn’t be made until someone approves it. In the course of trying to get rid of my insecurities, I let everyone else define and validate me but I realized that there was never any satisfaction; I would still end up feeling empty and would look for more and more people to affirm who I was.
Identity is defined as the distinguishing character or personality of an individual. – Merriam Webster
I love this definition because it clearly states that you will be different, you have your own distinguishing character and that’s the way it should be. We were not created to fit in but to stand out. The Bible says in Mathew 5 that we are the salt of the earth but if salt loses its saltiness then it’s no good! It will need to be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. In the same way we are also the light of the world, but we shouldn’t hide our light under the bed because it now serves no purpose. As we can see, fitting in was clearly not part of God’s plan for our lives but we have somehow managed to convince ourselves that being different is weird.
We need to let go of what the society has been feeding us with. No, you don’t need to be a size 2 to be beautiful! No, you don’t need to have it all figured out by the age of 23! No, crying when you are hurt is not illegal! No, you don’t need to like all the TV shows that are trending! It’s okay to just be yourself, its okay to have your own style, have dreams that may not make sense to others, speak or think a certain way even if it’s not the norm. Generally, it’s okay to be unapologetically yourself. Embrace your flaws and quirks, strengths and weaknesses and everything in between because that’s what makes you who you are.
God had the entire blueprint of your life way before you were born. So you are exactly where you need to be, and you were perfectly created by Him. You don’t need to change anything. How your life is turning out is not a surprise to Him. He already knows.
Having said that, I will share a few practical tips that have helped me whenever I struggled with remembering my true worth and living my identity
- Study the Word and what it says about you
You cannot buy a Samsung television and use a Panasonic user manual to set it up. It’s the wrong manufacturer so you can’t possibly set it up correctly. In the same way, you cannot define yourself through the world’s ‘user manual’ while you were not created by the world. The bible says that we are in this world but we are not of this world, so what works for the world does not work for us. We have to go back to our original user manual (The Bible) and find out what our manufacturer had designed us to become. Whatever you feed your mind with is what you’ll become, so fill your mind with who God says you are.
- Pray against people bondage
It’s a legit thing! People bondage is when you place a greater value on what people say about you instead of what God says about you. Pray against it. Ask God to help you value His word over the words of men. A helpful scripture to meditate on is Isaiah 51:12.
- Declare the Word out loud
The Bible says that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony. When wrong thoughts threaten to lie to you about your identity, declare God’s word over your life out loud. Even when you start feeling some type of way during the course of your day, declare the word over your life. Remind yourself what God says about you. Yes, you might look a little crazy in public when you are speaking to yourself…but how bad do you want your freedom?!
- Give yourself some credit and a whole lot of compliments
Stand before your mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are, compliment your hair and outfit and tell yourself that you have a beautiful smile. Congratulate yourself when you achieve a goal, and give yourself a pat on the back when it seems like no one appreciates your contribution. And when you mess up, it’s okay to cry yourself to sleep but not before you remind yourself that you’re doing your best, it’s not the end of the world because this mess happened, God’s got you and tomorrow will be a better day! Mind you that some days will definitely be more difficult than others, but if you consistently make a conscious effort to cut yourself some slack it will eventually become natural for you to love who you are.
What I’m saying is, it is important to love yourself and be your biggest cheerleader. Trust me, there is so much more to benefit when you aren’t your biggest critique.
Always remember that God loves YOU so much. The real you, the unfiltered, uncompromised version of you that He originally created. Be who He created you to be. Walk in the identity that the Father has given you and I promise you that He will not disappoint you. You were born to stand out, so arise and shine!
I honour you.