What Defines You?

Because of my job working at an alternative school and being a youth leader for high school girls, I hear all the time about the regrets they have and things about themselves or their families that they don’t like – things that define who they are.

If I were to ask them, “What defines you?”  The majority are most likely to respond with either something about their family or something related to decisions they’ve made (good or bad).

Is that an accurate response to that question?   Do the decisions you made in the past define who you are as a person?  Do the decisions members of your family made in the past define who you are as a person?

Absolutely not.

I think most problems begin when you let your actions define who you are.  You certainly can’t allow those someone else made to define you.  You have no control over that.  Although you do have control over your own decisions, you cannot live your life in that moment — the moment of the bad decision.  That is not who you are.

God said that when you come to him and ask for forgiveness for a mistake you made, he throws that mistake as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).  That means it is gone forever and never to be brought up again.  Why are you still using that mistake to define your worth today?

Look to the one who made you.  Any time you feel like you aren’t worthy, for whatever reason, look to the loving words he’s left just for you:

Matthew 10:28-31 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?  But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

I want to point out a few people who didn’t allow themselves to be defined by their family’s choices or their mistakes they had made in their past.  Instead, they allowed God to redeem them and use them for his plan and purpose:

  • Joseph – poor guy had brothers who were jealous of him and plotted to kill him and tell their dad that he was eaten by a wild animal.  Instead they sold him as a slave.  In the end Joseph was placed in a high position by the king, and his brothers had to come to him to beg for food.
  • Moses – killed an Egyptian and later became an annointed leader who led many away from the despair placed on them by Pharoah and into the promised land.  God spoke often to him, and he is one of the most well known leaders in the bible.
  • Rahab – a prostitute who went against her people to help Joshua and other followers of God take over her city.  God spared her and her family because of her help.
  • Paul – not only hated those who believed in God, but he killed them.  He ended up being one of the most powerful leaders probably in history.  He became a Christ-follower and led thousands of people to Christ.

God will bless you regardless of the decisions you’ve made.  You are not defined by your past, and it’s not too late to change the path you’ve been on.

How do you define yourself?


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