2Co 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Do you struggle with sin? Me too. But the Lord has been teaching me something that is helping. For years, the confession portion of my prayer time would go something like this: “Lord, I am a sinner, but you are my savior. I confess….(name a sin)… and ask your forgiveness.” Not that this is all wrong, but I have come to believe that I should be confessing who I really am.
Have I lost you? Just because I sin doesn’t mean that my identity is that of a sinner. I could fall into a cesspool occasionally but that wouldn’t make me “Joe, the Cesspool Swimmer”. Who am I really? A victor. Not a sinner who always needs forgiveness, but a winner who sometimes sins. I have therefore changed my confession time from, “Lord, I am a sinner…” to “Lord, I am your child with your attributes….” Guess what? I am not struggling as much.
This is not some pop psychology or positive thinking. I am not confessing what I want to be; I am proclaiming who I already am. Yes, I will mess up occasionally but doing so does not change who I am. I repeat: I am a winner who sometimes loses; not a loser who sporadically gets a win. The difference is everything; it is owning up to who I really am instead of wallowing in my previous identity.
So what does this have to do with your finances? A lot if you are a Christian. Many of our financial messes happen because we are still clinging to our former identities instead of proclaiming who we really are.
Do you have a spending problem?
Ask yourself why. Could it be that in your former life you thought that you could fill some emotional needs with some stuff? Substitute “I am just a spendthrift” with “I am God’s child”. Once that truth sinks in you will realize that your Father in heaven will supply your every need.
Do you have a hoarding problem?
Is it possible that you have identified security with hanging on to stuff? Have you ever feared that discarding an unused item is somehow linked to discarding part of yourself? You are no longer that person: you are now a child of God. He is the prince of peace and antithesis to fear. Remember who you are, not who you used to be.
Do you get overlooked for promotions?
Could it be that you still see yourself as a person who is not worthy of moving up in the world? God says you are worthy. He came to earth to suffer and die just for you. You are his child, with his attributes of success. Repeat this verse every day, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Is your marriage on the rocks?
Do you identify with parents, grandparents, or siblings who have struggled with their marriages? Don’t do it! Your identity is that of the bride of Christ (Rev 19:7) heading for a marriage that will last forever.
You get the idea. Much of our behavior is dictated by our self image. Even if God has made you into someone new, you will continue to behave the old way if you continue to think of yourself as that old person. You aren’t. God says so. Believe it. Proclaim it. And those old habits will start drifting away.
These verses will accent that truth:
Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Eph 4:20 – 24 “But that is not the way you learned Christ!– assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Col 3:9, 10 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Rev 21:5 “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
How about you? Do you struggle with self esteem? Are you hanging on to your former identity instead of declaring who you REALLY are?
This post has been included in the following carnivals: