One of the smartest people I know, doesn’t know it. She doesn’t believe she’s intelligent. This is something other than a humble perspective. It is the result of being told often at a young age that she wasn’t very smart. And so now, she believes it.
If she heard someone telling her to be honest with herself about her intellect would she take that to mean that she is bright or dim?
I’m convinced that If we are going to be honest with ourselves then we need to start with the truth about who we are. I listen for that truth, about our identity, in scripture.
You are loved and worthy of love.
(1 John 3:1, Jeremiah 31:3)
You have good gifts, insights, and talents to share.
(Romans 12:6-8, 1 1 Peter 4:10)
You have a vital role to play in God’s vision for the world.
(2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Jeremiah 29:11)
Your concerns and burdens matter to God.
(Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7)
You are empowered.
(Romans 8:11-14, Philippians 4:13)
You are connected to all of creation.
(Job 12:7-10, 1 Peter 2:9-10)
You are not alone. (Philippians 1:6, Isaiah 43:1-2)
You are a friend of God and bring joy to God.
(John 15:15, Zephaniah 3:17)
To be honest means to be free from deceit or untruthfulness. If we are going to speak honestly with ourselves (or others) it is important to be clear about the truth of our identity. What we believe about ourselves shapes the truth we speak.
Each of us is more than the list above. The scripture cannot name every aspect of our individual character and nature. However, the foundational truth named in scripture, about who we are, does have something to say to all of the other facets of our identity.
We know that we have faults and insecurities. Yet these cracks in our character are not at the core of who we are. The “fall” in scripture happens in the third chapter of Genesis not the first. Our faults and falls are not where we begin and ultimately they will not be where we end.
At the core of our identity, where we begin is Genesis 1. Here we hear truth spoken over us saying:
You (and everyone you know) are created in the image of God. “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”