I will give you a new identity.
Remember mixtapes? Well, cassette mixtapes might be as obsolete as rotary phones and fax machines, but I bet you probably have a mixtape that plays in your mind every day. Instead of your favorite bands, your mixtape often plays back negative and destructive messages you’ve recorded from assorted sources: parents, friends, media, enemies, and exes. We each have our own custom-made, sure-to-hit-us-where-it-hurts mix. You’re nobody. You’ll never amount to anything. People don’t like you. You’ll always be ugly. You’ll never be enough. You’ll always be just a jock or a nerd; a clown or a geek. You’re weird. You’re stupid. You’re just like your father or mother. Nobody will ever love you. Things will never change.
This old, worn-out mixtape reinforces your old identity in powerful and destructive ways. It keeps you trapped in lies and prevents you from fully embracing your new identity. But you can rise up in faith and walk in a new life. There’s a much better soundtrack for your life if you’re willing to shred the old mixtape. In Romans 9:25-26 MSG, Paul reminds us of how God sees us, “I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved. In the place where they yelled out, ‘You’re nobody!’ they’re calling you ‘God’s living children.’” This is God’s promise: I will give you a new identity. The truth is a much better mixtape that you must listen to over and over.
The power of words that you speak to yourself and others are very important parts of embracing this new identity. You shape your words, and then your words shape you. James explains, “[…] A small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches” (James 3:4-5). If you believe something long enough, you’ll likely live in a way to prove you are right! So, the next time you catch yourself thinking, “I’ll never have enough” or “People don’t change,” take out that tape.
Believe you are somebody in God. Your kids will see a model for one who holds their head high with significance. You will work from a place of confidence and trust in God. You will love your spouse and family from a grounded self-worth based in God’s worth—the humble posture that realizes, I was a nobody, but God made me a somebody!
Live free in the promise: I will give you a new identity.