Restored Identity

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A Reflection of the Heart

 A mirror is an object that we use every day. We use it to look at ourselves. Checking our hair, putting on make-up, it is part of the normal routine. We must all have done it thousands of times during our lives. But standing in front of a mirror, looking into our own eyes and being asked, ‘what do you see?’ is a daunting prospect. We’re going beyond just our outside appearance. We look into the core of who we are and how we see ourselves. It is raw, naked and there is nowhere to hide.

At the School of Ministry this week, we’ve been learning about identity. After being around the school for almost two years, I know that this week is one that will grip and challenge the students. God is on the move to replace the lies that people have believed about themselves and replace them with the truth that He has always spoken over them. But one thing I know for sure is that there are going to be tears. There certainly were for Tim.

Tim is nineteen years old from the South of France. He is one of those people that is really fun to be around. He dresses well, has a great sense of humour and seems sure of himself. But really inside, he just felt normal. Not happy, not sad, just average. Nothing special. Right towards the end of the teaching, he was picked out to come up to the front. It was his turn to face the mirror.

When Tim walked up to the front, he did not want anyone else to know that he he felt average. He wanted to seem like he was confident about himself. He did not want to show that he had anything wrong with his self-esteem. So he stood up to the mirror. He was asked the big question- ‘Tim, what do you see?’
What did Tim see? Big lips. Ugly face. Acne. No potential. All of a sudden, the depths of how he really saw himself was revealed. The lies that had been believed over the years came to the surface. At that point, the rest of us that were sitting around watching were filled with such sadness. It was heart-breaking to hear that those were the things that he saw himself as. There are so many incredible things that are within Tim, he is an amazing man. Yet, all he saw was the bad. I have no doubt that this is a reality that most of us experience too.

We no longer need to hold onto things that are in our past. We no longer need to remind ourselves of things that are behind us, because that is not who we are. You are a new creation in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Godly Identity Restored

The start of Romans 6:6 says, ‘For we know that we have been crucified with him’ and goes on to say that we are no longer slaves to sin. We no longer need to hold onto things that are in our past. We no longer need to remind ourselves of things that are behind us, because that is not who we are. You are a new creation in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). You have been set free (Galatians 5:1). You are loved and chosen by God (1 Thessalonians 1:4). You are united with God (1 Corinthians 6:17). The list goes on, yet it is so easy to forget these truths in our everyday life. But God never forgets.

It is so easy to forget [God's] truths in our everyday life. But God never forgets.

As Tim stood in front of the mirror, students started to join him at the front and began to speak God’s truth about him. "'He is valued', 'he is real', 'he has huge potential', 'he is loved so dearly', 'he is a good friend.'" What seemed to impact Tim the most was when he was told that he was the most beautiful. At that point, tears began to stream down his face, as he started to believe all the amazing things that were being spoken over him. Those truth began to displace all the lies he had onced believed. He found the ability to trust himself; he could begin to believe in himself; He could now open up his heart to people.

In the last few days, Tim has gone through a noticable change; he's definitely smiling more. There is a light in his eyes and a joy in his heart. Tim has come to life. 

Lives [are] changed and identity [is] restored. Why? Because they finally see themselves for how God sees them. The truth. It is powerful.

I have had the pleasure of being at the school for nearly two years, and I have consistently seen students come into a week like this and shake off the lies and labels that have been plaguing them for years. I had the pleasure of seeing two of my close friends standing in front of that mirror and coming away having their lives completely changed and their identity restored. Why? Because they finally see themselves for how God sees them. The truth. It is powerful.

So the next time you look in the mirror, maybe look a little deeper. Rather than just then looking at the outer appearance, ask yourself: what is it that you really see? Then ask God what is His truth about you.