You Are NOT Who You Think You Are


Take a long look at yourself in the mirror. If you look closely you will see all the labels that have been slapped on to you over the years. Some of these labels have been put on by others. Parents, schoolmates, coworkers, friends, pastors. Some of the labels have been self-administered.


In your mind, these labels define you. You have always been an angry person. You’ve always had an eating disorder. You’ve always been addicted to porn. You’ve always been an outcast. That’s just the way it is, some things will never change. You feel like you can identify with the words of Jack Kelly (see?Newsies)?who said, “We was beaten when we was born.”

You feel trapped by your labels. You don’t want to be constantly angry. You don’t want to be a slave to sexual sin. You don’t want to constantly live under a cloud of gloom and condemnation. But you don’t know how to escape. You’ve been this way for so long that you no longer have hope of change. You are convinced that you’ve always been this way and will always be this way. Yes you are a Christian, and yes you will always be this way. Right?


One of Satan’s greatest lies is that you will always be trapped by your sin. If he can convince you that you will never change, the odds are high that you never will change. You will believe all the labels that have been slapped on to you. You will believe you have no hope of changing. Your grandad was a lazy loser, your dad was a lazy loser, and now you’re a lazy loser.

The good news of the gospel is that you are no longer defined by your past sins, by your biology, or by your family history. You are defined by one thing: your identity in Christ Jesus.?

In Romans 6:6-8 Paul says:

We know that?our old self?was crucified with him in order that?the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.?For?one who has died?has been set free?from sin.?Now?if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

Your old self, the self that was enslaved to anger, lust, eating disorders, and laziness has died! Your old, sin-loving self was crucified with Jesus Christ and was buried with Jesus Christ. It cannot return and it cannot rule you. Your old self was defined by sin and biology and family history and wounds.?Labels belong to the old you.

Your new self is defined by one thing: Jesus Christ. You belong to Jesus Christ, and he has set you free from sin. You died to sin and now you have the power of the living Christ coursing through you. Jesus is the great label destroyer. You are not an addict, you are in Christ. You are not defined by anger, you are defined by Christ. You are not a failure, you live in Christ and he lives in you.

It’s time to stop letting yourself be defined by labels. Those labels belong to your old self, and that old self is long gone, buried with Christ. You may struggle with anorexia, but that sin will not rule you because Christ rules you. You may battle with lust but that sin will not define you because Christ defines you. You may feel like a loser but you are NOT a loser because Christ the victor dwells in you.

Therefore, if anyone is?in Christ, he is?a new creation.?The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.?(2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

+photo by antigallery


  • Jennifer says:

    "I've always been an outcast, I'm always gonna be an outcast"… yigzackly what I wrote in my journal yesterday. And that one is a tough one to combat with these verses, because it's not a sin to be a misfit. God has always had His misfits and sojourners. What if that is just His will for me? That's what I am struggling with…finding a place of acceptance of His plan for me…even if it's a somewhat lonely plan. Of course…then there's the possibility that it is *not* His plan and I'm just not seeing clearly. Gah! Anyway, your post is still encouraging, for it reminds me that just because I have always felt cast out, as have my parents, that it does not automatically mean that my Father will keep me there forever. He is making all things new, even if I have to wait til Heaven to fit in with His children.

  • ashleigh says:

    thank you for sharing all this. I always feel like a failure- seeing my sins and wishing they weren't there. There is victory in Christ- I ant and must believe this. Thank you for this reminder and life choice.

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Hi Jennifer, I'm sorry that you are feeling like an outcast. I truly don't believe that God wants you to feel like an outcast. He wants you to feel the acceptance of God, and then he also wants you to be knit together with fellow believers. In this fallen world we don't always get to experience these things, but I truly believe God wants you to. I would encourage you to pray that he would give you at least one or two people who you feel connected to.

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    I'm glad it encourage you Ashleigh!

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