Redefining Self: Exchanging a Negative Self-Image for a Positive Identity in Jesus


If a teacher asked you to define your inner self in front of a class, would you find it difficult?

Many of us would, in part, because the way we see ourselves deep down isn’t necessarily flattering.

Though we might say things like “I’m conversational,” or “I’m shy,” inside we might be thinking things like:

Hello, my name is _____ and I’m flawed, broken, damaged, and fearful. I’m a gossip/a drug addict/a worthless person who has been used by others/afraid of everything/angry/unloved.

Most of us struggle with this inner negative self-definition. After all, we see ourselves as we really are. We know the hateful thoughts that pop into our minds. We feel the anger that often lurks under the surface. And we live with the hurts we’ve experienced and caused along life’s journey. We know ourselves well enough to know the façade we show the world is just that—a shell hiding pain underneath.

Sometimes we might cover our feelings with imagining our ideal future self, the one who works out fastidiously, always skips dessert, is top in her career, and tap dances her way to the bank because she has it all together.

If only we could be her, everything would be great.

Not true. First, none of us will ever be that person because there will always be some other ideal out there pulling at us. And even if we could come close, inside we would still struggle with the same doubts and insecurities as our today self.

You are a princess.

But the Bible has something to say about the way we define ourselves, and it is awesome.

First, we are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

But what does that really mean? Perhaps we need to check out how God is defined to truly understand who we are in Him:

And who are we to this Eternal King of Kings?

1 John 3:1

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!

I love the exclamation point in that verse. Read through the Bible and most other carefully edited texts; see how rarely explanation points are used. In formal writing, the exclamation point is supposed to be rare in order to indicate special emphasis. (We’ve seen two exclamation points here, defining who we are in Christ.)

[Tweet “We are the daughters of the King of Kings, the creator of everything. “]

The God who breathed the universe into existence, the God who sits outside of time and reigns for eternity, the God who is and was and always will be, and the God who never lies claims you as His child. We are his daughters. In Romans 8:17 we are called heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus. That makes us heiresses and princesses.

You are an heiress. You are a princess. If you are in Christ, you are the daughter of the One and Only King of Kings.

When we are faced with questions and self-doubt and the pain of our internal definitions, we need to return to the truth and say:

“Hello, my name is ______ and I am a princess, a precious daughter of the Eternal King of Everything.”

We have a beautiful inheritance given to us by our Father, the King of Kings.


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