Overidentifying with our circumstances

By Dave Henning / March 28, 2020

“Overidentifying with our circumstances prevents us from hearing God’s new name for us.  We are not our circumstances on either a good day or a bad day, and reminding ourselves of this truth is a discipline we need to live out on a daily basis.  Christian author Judy Douglass says, ‘God always knows which name to call us in any circumstance.’ “- Esther Fleece Allen

As Esther Fleece Allen continues Chapter 2 of Your New Name, she presents the second and third labels that limit.

2.  You are not your circumstances.  To those who face difficult and adverse times, the truth presents a challenge.  For example, Esther notes, if you’re unemployed, it’s all too easy to take your job loss personally.  Yet, you’re more than that job.  But, Esther cautions, when you equate qualifiers with your name, you make little progress in learning your true name.

Can you imagine, Esther asks, if God used external qualifiers to choose us or call us?  Thankfully, God looks past those things.  Instead, He takes a look at our hearts.  Above all, Esther underscores, as Christ followers the word disciple represents our most common name in the Bible.  In fact, the word disciple occurs more than 250 times in the New Testament.

As a disciple, you’re chosen to follow Christ as well as represent Him.  Therefore, God’s not embarrassed that you belong to Him!  Furthermore, when tempted to name yourself based on your circumstances, default to the name disciple.

3.  You are not your limitations.  Consequently, introduce yourself as God sees you.  It’s not arrogant or prideful to do so.  Rather, Esther exhorts, living out of your new name just might prod others to live out their true identities as sons or daughters of God.  Because, before we ever produce anything for God, God names us His handiwork.

However, we exhibit a narrow view of God when we focus on either our abilities or disabilities. In turn, that focus limits all we do and see.  Our core image changes when God makes us a new creation.

Today’s question: When do you find yourself overidentifying with your circumstances?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “What negative thing people said about you”

About the author

Dave Henning

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