Monday, June 6, 2016

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?



I thought I was just going in for a routine doctor's appointment one April morning. Little did I know my life was about to change. I sat across the desk from my doctor, discussing a diagnosis given to me years prior. A diagnosis that I was surprised to learn was incorrect. For years I had taken medications for a condition I never really had; one that caused significant side effects. 

The realization that I’d spent years on an incorrect path overwhelmed me; a path that led to unnecessary stress, stigma and heartache. The intense difficulty I endured could have been avoided. On that day, the doctor looked at me and said emphatically, "Don't let people label you!" I was taken aback. It was not the typical doctor-patient conversation and though our exchange was brief, I sensed immediately that her words to me were ordained by God. 

As I left that appointment, I began to meditate on how many labels I have incorrectly lived with throughout my lifetime. How many times I have lived according to the labels that have been put on me. Not just medically, but emotionally and spiritually. This was eye-opening. An unexpected chat at a routine appointment proved to be divine and it spring boarded a barrage of racing thoughts in the days to follow. I felt the Lord doing something in my heart as a result; preparing a message to one day be shared.

Everyone has experienced a label; whether we’ve put it on ourselves or it’s been slapped on us by someone else. Far too many of us are going through life with an identity that God never intended. Let’s face it, labels can dictate how we feel and how we function.

Stop for a moment to think about a labeled product. We sometimes try to peel the label off but don't get it everything, leaving a sticky residue behind. The residue becomes dirty and gross and, in order to get it off, a razor blade is needed to do the job. At times, it was left on for so long that a permanent mark remained. Starting the peeling process only made it more messy.

Think about a product in the clearance section at Target. Multiple labels and price tags slapped over one another. No one took the time to remove the label because they saw the value had gone down. What might have been $19.99 at one point is now at the bottom of the dollar bin. Can you identify?

Perhaps there was a time you felt beautifully on display. People admired and spoke highly of you and told others to come “check you out.” But after time, you got pushed to the back of the shelf behind the newer, prettier things. Your worth was based on what people saw not it what God said. And in time, you felt forgotten. Labels of lesser value were added with the hopes to get rid of you. Maybe with a different price, you would be gone. Or maybe you never felt beautiful at all because people labeled you as otherwise from day one. And years later, you’re still living according to those labels put on you.

I did. I listened to the lies and allowed stuff to stick to me. I made the mistake of allowing my identity to be wrapped up in what I did for a living and what happened to me and who I was associated with. Insecurity held me hostage. I wore the scarlet letter of divorce and the cloak of depression and shame. All as a believer in ministry.

Though I knew in my head that my identity was in Christ alone, there was still a disconnect in my heart. It took a revelation in a doctor’s office in 2012 to finally allow the Lord to come into my heart with a spiritual razor blade to remove the residue that had remained there from previous labels.

In my continued search of the Scriptures, I pondered my identity more and couldn’t help but think that I was not the only one in this place. I was certain this was a message to one be shared whenever God opened the door. Well, the door has opened and I walk through it with a question for you.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Pause to consider it. Are you living according to your identity in Christ or based on what happened to you? Or possibly the identity of who you want to be? 

Over the course of the next eight weeks, we're going to take the time to look to the Word of God to see what He says on the matter. If you don't know who you are, that's okay. You're here! We are looking to the One who knows us better that we know ourselves and loves us unconditionally

Join us on the journey, spread the word, and share your thoughts below!

Praying for you!


In CHRIST Alone,
Jenn

#WDYTYA16



*If you are interested in further discussion and study on this topic and would like to be a part of a Facebook small group, comment below or let me know on Facebook or Twitter

2 comments:

Mom said...

Growing up I was given a few labels that I had to overcome and some through God's healing process I am still stripping away. Labels like overweight, unorganized,. I remember my younger brother and my dad referring to me as a "fat dog"
I am so thankful for Jesus not only saving my from my sins and granting me eternal life in Him. I am thnkful for my new identity in Christ. This study will help me and in turn many others as we share all He is doing in our lives.
Thank you my daughter for this wonderful chance to grown in the love and grace of Jesus.
Love Mom

Jennifer Roth said...

Love you, Mom. Thank you so much for sharing and for your constant love, encouragement, and support. I am so grateful for you and thankful for your identity in Christ as well.