Skip to content

Identity and Insecurity

August 31, 2010

Aidan: It’s a really interesting time right now for my wife and I.

We have an 18 month old, Avery Grace and are experiencing  all of the joys that come with watching one of your kids grow up right in front of you. We also have another one on the way ( a son!), due at the end of October, that we are getting ready for.

It’s so cliché, but you do realize so much about God and our relationship with him when you have kids (I suppose clichés become clichés because they happen to so many people). It never ceases to amaze me how much happiness and joy Avery brings us…simply by being around. She’s hysterical. Watching her walk through the world, watching as she observes things and makes connections…it’s endlessly entertaining and exhilarating.

Take this picture for example…she’s already becoming her mother. She’s obsessed with shoes…at 18 months.

You name the kind, the kis loves shoes. Crocs. Rain boots. Slippers. Stride rites. And of course…her mother’s shoes. She’ll find a pair, put them on, and then shuffle down the hall, giggling the whole way.

Her new favorite activity, however, is unloading her toys from her bin, crawling inside, and asking us to put the toys on top of her. We could do that 3, 4, 5 times and she never gets tired of it.

It’s just so fun to watch her, play with her, be with her. Her very existence brings us all the happiness in the world.

She hasn’t done anything yet. She isn’t bringing home grades from school or getting a job or producing something meaningful for the world. She’s just being. It’s just her. It’s fascinating to see this in juxtaposition to my own addictions to production and search for significance…somehow hoping for approval.

My daughter exists. Her existence and her relationship with me brings me all the happiness in the world. Yet I exist in a different reality sometimes, one where I’m trying to please God or prove my worth in hope that then I’ll be valuable. Or that when I screw up I need to make it up to God, work my way into his good graces again. I never do that with my daughter, and I’m imperfect. What about God who is perfect?

The more I enjoy my daughter the more I see this kind of thing highlighted in my life.

Mike: That’s really interesting.

Obviously we see this kind of thing playing out with Jesus, the same thing where you approve of your daughter and delight in her long before she’s done anything.

Jesus is baptized, his ministry hasn’t started yet, he’s done nothing of any consequence, and still the Father says, “I love you. I’m proud of you. You’re my son!” And what we see is that this is the fundamental message this is said over and over again and built upon and confirmed as his ministry does open and move forward.

At the Transfiguration, same deal, just adds onto the foundation: “I love you, I’m proud of you. Your role is to speak to these people and they’ll receive you.”

In John when the Father speaks and there is thunder: “I love you. You’re going to bring glory to me. It’s who you are! It’s through you that people will understand me as their Father and King.”

It’s always the same thing: I love you. I’m proud of you. You’re my kid.

Whether he’s in ministry or hasn’t done a shred of work yet.

The best way I know to describe it is through the Covenantal language we see in the NT.

What I see a lot of Christians wrestling with are massive levels of insecurity. A lack of clarity about who they are. These are questions that are fundamentally about Identity. If you know who you are, you don’t struggle with insecurity. Rather than setting your Identity on a whole bunch of moving realities, set it on something permanent, that is unchanged and never will change.

God exists. He loves us. We are his kids.
This give you your role in life.
We’re his kids. We represent him here on earth.

Basically, it comes down to this: Everything that the Father says about Jesus, he also says about you.

It’s not that we’re divine, but that we have the exact same Covenantal relationship as Jesus because we are the adopted kids of the same Father. Jesus says this: The Father and I are ONE. You and I are ONE. So you are ONE with the Father. That idea of ONE-ness is Covenant!

This finally releases us from fear and anxiety.

It allows you to start existing with God in the same type of relationship that you have with your daughter…you just enjoy each other for who the other is, regardless of what you’ve done or are producing. The insecurity starts to melt away.

Just think about Romans 8: We don’t have a Spirit of Fear that leads us to slavery but have been given a Spirit of Sonship…we are now co-heirs with Christ.

But because of that Covenant, we also bear some of the consequences. Jesus suffered. So we now suffer too.

What this does is really lay an ax to the idea that you only have to look inside yourself for Identity. It just doesn’t work that way. Identity comes from someone else. It’s just that it needs to come from something that’s immovable! Sure, you can try to find your Identity in how successful you are, what social crowd you’re in, how much money you have…but those things can change in an instant. Where’s your Identity when those things shift and change? We need something solid and immovable, he tells us who we are no matter what shifting occurs.

It changes our relationship with God because we now call him Abba (Papa), which is an intimate greeting.

And it changes our relationship with others because we are now interacting with people out of a sense of confidence about who we are and what our purpose is.

We don’t need to earn their approval or our Father’s approval…we have it! Like you with your daughter, he delights in you! He loves being around you. You make him laugh all the time. He’s always shaking his head and smiling when you live into your true self, the self he created you to be.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2010 4:10 pm

    Thanks Mike
    first time I’ve found your blog (thanks to Twitter) – will pore over it!

  2. October 11, 2010 6:48 pm

    Excellent insights and lessons I seem to have to re-learn every quarter, it seems. So forgetful, me. Some day….


  1. Tweets that mention Identity and Insecurity « Mike Breen's blog --

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: