My two-year-old granddaughter is too young to have determined her self-identity. One minute, she might be dressing up in frilly dresses, a fancy hat, and “shades”–being what we might call a “girly-girl.” Ten minutes later, she could be playing roughhouse, trying to keep up with her big brother. She is still exploring the world, finding herself–and she will be for the next couple of decades.
What’s your self-identity? Do you see yourself as a “good person” or as a pathetic mess? Are you satisfied with your physical appearance, or do you wish you were thinner or heavier, taller or shorter? Do you think you are funny, compassionate, intellectual, or athletic–or wish you were more so?
Some of these things–such as weight, fitness, compassion–can be changed, with time and effort on your part. Others, like height or talent, may be permanent.
I don’t want you to obsess over the qualities about yourself that you don’t like. My purpose is to simply say that God knows who you are, because He made you. And He loves you the way you are. But, since you are a “pathetic mess” like the rest of us, He loves you too much to leave you that way. That means He’ll change you on the inside, not on the outside.
Because He loves you, He wants you to know who He is. When we love someone, we want to understand what’s important to him (or her), what his greatest desires are. And the more we know about the other person, the more deeply we love him. In the same way, the more intimately we know God, the more deeply we can love Him.
A song we learned in Africa a couple years ago goes like this: “Who is like the Lord? Nobody, nobody.”
We find the same thought in scripture. Exodus 15:11 says, “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”
Since there is nobody like God, and He made each one of us, doesn’t it stand to reason that what He thinks of us is more important than what we think of ourselves?