As we engage in addiction, the enemy robs us of our “true self” with the many lies that we accept as truth. This happens because our addiction creates an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame, which in turn causes us to avoid and run away from God. As we drift further and further from God, unknowingly we also drift further and further away from who we really are. God is our “Identity Giver” and the longer and farther we drift from Him, the more of our “true self” we lose. It is God’s design for us to live in His identity for us. As we do, it is His intention for us to thrive as we bare and reflect His image to Him, to ourselves, and to the world around us.
This article is being written to highlight the importance and power that resides in living our lives in our “true self” as God intends and enables us to do. But to regain that truth within us, we need to be willing to go to battle. Not a battle against flesh and blood, but against the lies that keep our true identity hidden from us. The battle ground…our minds and what we choose to believe about God and ourselves.
We Are Who God Says We Are
The moment we understand the power of our minds and the individuality of our thinking and how we have control over how we think…we are truly able to experience true transformation. When we see ourselves the way God sees us…as His wonderful works and as a reflection of His image, then we see what is inside of us and begin to perceive ourselves and the world around us in a different way. (Ps. 139:14). Each of us is meant to bear His glory in our own unique way…we all have a beautiful way of stewarding eternity (Eccles. 3:11; Gen. 1-2). Seeing ourselves as we truly are…as God sees us…changes us from the inside out. Our “true self” is unlocked. This is much more that finding your “purpose”…it is about finding “yourself”…your “true self” that God created and sees.
We are created in and reflect His image. The world will lose out if you do not operate in your “true self”. You are a specific part of His reflection, the missing piece that brings a unique perspective and hope to the world. There is no one like you, which means there is something you can do that no one else can do. Because of who you are, your experience will enhance others around you. When you are not the “real” you, everyone misses out on knowing God better, because as His “Image Bearer” you reflect His image in a unique and beautiful way.
We Are Worthy
Only you can be your specific type of “self”. By operating in our God created “true self”, we celebrate who we are as God intended us to be! In a world where we are told that we’re not worthy or do not measure up to an expected standard, this celebration is very critical. We cannot truly live for God or transform our world around us if we hate what we see in the mirror. Your “real” self…as God sees you…is so deeply wired within us as bearers of God’s image…that when we recognize it, we develop an intimate awareness of, and desire for, the need to be “ourselves”. You become aware that you are fundamentally good (Gen. 1:31).
We Are More Than Enough
In addition, when we connect with our “true self” (as God sees us), we accept the truth that we are more than enough. As we begin to accept this truth about ourselves, we can walk in anticipation and freedom through life, rejoicing despite the circumstances that befall us. Operating in our “true self” brings satisfaction and contentment. It reveals our innermost qualities which are bound in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control (Gal. 5:22-23). It is hopeful…it never gives up, enduring through every circumstance.
Operating in your “true self” is the way you choose to see your world filled with love instead of fear. It is what we all crave, so that impatience and unkindness, irritability, pride and boastfulness, unforgiveness, wrong choices and trauma…all of which disrupt this fulfillment…cause us to seek to recapture this “true self” feeling in an attempt to restore order in our minds, bodies and spirit. Accepting our “true self” also removes us from the mindsets of shame and guilt. We can then enter into a mindset of hope of endless possibilities.
Your “true self”, when realized and accepted, will take you from missing the mark of being made in God’s image to stepping into who your truly are. In this way, you will move from trauma to freedom, from pain to peace, from indecision to action, from confusion to clarity, from envy to celebration, from frustration to anticipation, from being overwhelmed to being set free, from feat to courage, from suppressing issues to having the courage to face them, from numbing thoughts to capturing them, from passivity to passion, and from hopelessness to hope. It will help you understand what you are stewarding and how to remain a good steward of your life no matter what comes your way. If you understand your “true self”…your God given self…you will understand how you think, feel and choose and therefore how to renew your mind, enabling you to face life’s challenges (Ron. 12:2).
Our Identity Determines Our Recovery
For the recovering addict, what we accept about our identity can make the difference between true freedom and life…relapse or death. Our identity is fundamental to our nature, so we are always seeking after our “true self”. It is the core of who we are and it’s only when we find our “true self” in God’s identity of us that we will live in true hope, joy and love. Everyone is trying to identify us with all kinds of labels…and we all too often accept them and it usually isn’t good for us…or even true about us. God is combating those false identities and labels in your life with His truth about you really are to Him. Listen to that voice and live in peace and freedom!