“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own”
1 Corinthians 6:19
I used to be a slave to the opinion of others. Why was this? Because I didn’t fully believe God’s opinion about me. Plus, even I didn’t know who I was on the inside. So if I heard that someone was talking bad about me or posting lies on social media, I’d get extremely upset. To make matters worse, the enemy would convince me to scramble and fret, “Get them back! What will people think?! Are you not going to do anything at all?!”
God was teaching me the art of doing nothing. He was also educating me on whose opinion mattered the most. His.
However, this was years in the making. In my immaturity, that is, before I began to allow the Holy Spirit to teach me my identity. I’d do my best to defend myself with all ferocity. If that didn’t seem to work (and it rarely did) I’d resent the person who was trying to tarnish my reputation. To make matters worse, I’d hold a severe grudge and do my best to be sure other people didn’t like them. Of course, that’s if I couldn’t change my accuser’s mind about me.
Do you see the madness? Do you see the inner-turmoil demonic forces stir up when we don’t know who we are? When we rely on the opinion of people to feel good about ourselves? Friend, there is a better way! That way is understanding who you are and being anchored in the truth!
What is the truth? If you’ve believed in Christ’s forgiveness for your sin, the truth is, you are a child of God! (See John 1:12, 1 John 3:1). We are so used to looking to the opinion of others for our identity, but God wants us to look to Him! This process of coming to know yourself through God’s Spirit takes time. So be easy on you!
Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 3:18, that we go from glory to glory as we come to know our true identity. Glory simply means to magnify. What are we magnifying? Our true selves! This is not arrogance, this is simply looking into the mirror and believing what we see!
Let’s look deeper into that verse, 2 Corinthians 3:18.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
If we gloss over this verse too quickly, we’ll miss out on the meat of it. Here are a few important truths from this single passage about who we are:
- with unveiled face. Unveiled face? What does that mean? It means we have nothing to cover up in regard to our true identity as saints. With an uncovered face we are showing our true selves.
- beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. Behold means to look upon with awe. When we drop our masks of trying to be someone we’re not, just to get others to like us, we can then look at our own faces and see the same glory as God!
- being transformed into the same image. When we unveil our faces and begin to understand our supernatural selves–glorified as God is glorified–then we can see our true identity, then our actions and attitudes begin to match up!
God has recreated you in His very own image! This is who you are! Here’s more proof!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The old has gone and the new is here! The old is referring to your old, sinful spirit–the one you were born with. The new is referring to your new, perfect spirit–the one you received when you first believed Jesus forgave you! The spirit you have today has been resurrected with Christ in the supernatural realm and it’s just like Him! Even better, it’s joined with Him, and this can never be undone! Look!
“For we know that our old self (our old, sinful spirit) was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin (our spirits). Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Romans 6:6-8, notes added)
This is talking about now! Do you see it?! Do you see that you’re connected with Jesus because your old spirit died and you got a new one?! Friend! This might have happened 35 years ago or yesterday, but the moment you first believed this actually happened! Why does this matter? Because I want you to know who you are!
If you know who you are, the incorrect opinions of people will not bother you! If you know who you are, the lies of others will not cause you to make stupid choices! If you know who you are, the blatant misrepresentations of your character will not steal your joy! If you know who you are, the rejection from those who believe the lies will not make you depressed! If you know who you are, you’ll be confident and you’ll handle yourself with poise!
If you know who you are, you’ll know the truth, and the truth will set you freeeeeeeeeee! (See John 8:32).
So today, my friends, know this: Whose opinion matters the most? God’s, of course. His thoughts of you are good thoughts, loving thoughts, cherished thoughts. His opinion of you is the truth! Knowing this will allow you to stay steady, even when the waves of lies come crashing upon you. You’ll not hang your head! You won’t hide! Instead, you’ll look forward with an unveiled face and think of your accusers with love, hope, and forgiveness…because that’s who you are. Be yourself, friend. Be confident, and be yourself.