By Josh Conn
“I’m a failure.” “I won’t make it.” “I can’t finish this race.” “I can’t pass this class.” “I can’t raise these children.” “I will never get married.” “I don’t think anyone really loves me.” “I’ll never get that job.” “I have made so many mistakes, there is no way God would want to use me now.”
Ever had one of these thoughts cross your mind? Ever adopted one of these sayings deep into the recesses of your soul? One of these game changing thoughts that repeats itself in your head so much that you lose sight of hope? Forgetting who you are is no joke. It could quite possibly be the cause of most of the pain in our world.
“O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage” Daniel 10:19
It’s hard to forget your name, but unfortunately it’s rather easy to forget who you are, what you are about, and lose your purpose. Many of us are defined too much by things people say, opinions of others, the amount of money in our bank account, a title on a business card, or even our popularity, status, and notoriety in the world. In our striving to “be somebody”, we have forgotten the point. You already ARE VALUABLE, and you really don’t have anything to prove. When you forget who you are, you tend to lose your way, make mistakes, say and do things that are out of character. Your identity CAN’T be wrapped up in these things. What are the things that are constant about us as humans that should define us?
Four Things You Have To Remember…ALWAYS
1 – You Are Greatly Loved – This is so real. So many of us feel unlovable, find our security, self-esteem and value in the approval of others, and are in constant performance mode. This is not necessary. God loves us, made us with the gifts, looks, and the abilities he wanted us to have. The process of discovering about ourselves has nothing to do with the consistency of His creativity and passion. God is Love. Period.
“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4
2 – Fear Not – Anxiety is real, but you cannot add a day to your life through worry and inner turmoil. Contentment is a hard place to reach but fear is always easily accessible. You don’t have to be afraid, secure is what you are. You are not alone, abandoned, and left for dead. God came and took care of the question of security. He has it covered. Don’t forget it.
“Fear not, for I am with you;” Isaiah 41:10
3 – Peace Be With You – Chaos seems like it is winning, but it is not. There is an inner struggle and an outward pain in the constant fighting and power struggle in our lives. We fight for control at work, home, as parents, in our marriages, but we don’t have to. We can choose to be peaceable. It is who we are when we choose to follow Jesus.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” John 14:27
4- Be Strong and of Good Courage – Things aren’t always as they seem in the temporal world. You are probably being deceived in some situation in your life. You may not feel strong outwardly, but it’s a truth about you that can’t be denied. When you start to put your faith and trust in a God who created the world, died for you as a man, identifies with your pain, and comforts you in Spirit, You can’t deny your strength. It is God LIVING in your being. NOTHING is too difficult for God. Remember your joy!
“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Before you go
SO, when are you going to choose to believe who God says you are? It’s easy in the day-to-day part of ministry to listen to the voices of others, even our own voice, instead of the voice of God. Don’t forget who you are.
As ministry leaders, it’s helpful to have someone to remind us. Often this is a colleague or other local ministry leader—outside the four walls of our church. Think about who this could be for you. Find a trusted friend, a valued colleague, or a life coach and give them permission to remind you of God’s truth so you don’t forget who you are.
About Josh Conn
Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church in New Jersey and a former Associate Pastor at New Hope Church in Bend. He is currently the training coach for the coaches of the Pacific Conference.