Stripping Titles & Finding Identity

What if all our self-made identities were stripped away? Would we still be enough? Down with pneumonia I felt absolutely worthless for two weeks. I couldn’t cook, parent my kids, write, teach, or even plan a birthday party for my 5 year old. I was just Andrea with nothing to be proud of, feeling weak and useless. Then, in the middle of my misery, it hit me; if every identity I’d created was wiped away, would God still love me?

Of course in my head I knew the answer. Scripture tells us that we are beloved children of God, redeemed by Christ as a free gift. But sometimes my heart wants to earn love. I think to myself if I’m a good enough writer, mother, wife, or teacher, I will deserve God’s love and can feel good about accepting it. 

But that’s the opposite of the gospel.

We can cling to this truth when we are afraid we’re not enough.

And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11 ESV

The reason we have nothing to prove and can stand secure in God’s love when we have absolutely nothing to give is evident in today’s verse. Our Dad in heaven is completely, 100%, pleased with Jesus, and we are tucked in Him. So we have nothing to prove. He is our identity. And He’s always enough so we can quit trying to be. 

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When we mess up, His perfection covers us. When we are weak, Jesus’s strength abounds. When we have nothing to give, His sacrifice on the cross prevails. God is well pleased with us because we have faith in His Son, not because we are innately awesome. 

God is well pleased with us because we have faith in His Son, not because we are innately awesome. 

In a culture that beckons us to make a splash and find our worth in what we do, let’s be confident that our identity is solely based on our faith in Christ. The Father is well pleased with Jesus, and sees nothing but good when He looks on us through the light of Christ. No more striving, no more comparing, just resting confidently that we are enough because of Jesus.

 

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals with WL on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk

 

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We made this for YOU! Grab your copy of our newly released 90-day devotional HERE. It’s full of life changing truth that points to the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you.

Love Sincerely

It’s time for KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid! That was my broadcasting professor’s motto in college. That principle made my writing better, and it also translates into life. So often we complicate love and relationships, or we abuse them with insincerity. But what God asks of us is simple. No more acting, love each other sincerely.

Romans 12:9 reminds us to “Let love be genuine…”, and in other versions the word is translated that love must be sincere.

Why would the early church planter, Paul, have to remind God’s people to love sincerely? Because our natural bent is to serve ourselves. Because it’s really easy to do things out of selfish ambition instead of thinking of someone else’s good.

But our love points to Christ. And Christ was a giver, not a taker.

But our love points to Christ. And Christ was a giver, not a taker.

He saw people, their need, in their everyday life, and He sought to make them whole with His love. He healed their pain, fed their hunger, restored their dignity. Jesus loved each person He encountered sincerely.

What would it look like for the church to be a blanket of genuine love like Jesus? It would look like less self promotion on social media and more quiet giving of time in real life. Less spending on personal kingdoms and abundant financial sacrifice for God’s Kingdom. Less worrying about my future, and more planning of how I can make someone else’s future better. I want to be this. I want to the root of everything I do to be real love. I mess up so many times, but this is my desire.

Love must be sincere. Everything we do, sister, must come from a place of deep affection for each other. Because the world is watching us, and they are used to people using each other for personal gain. And we are to love differently than the world. When others look at us, they need to see a true reflection of a beautifully loving God. One who cares deeply for them.

Will we be perfect? No. But as we consciously decide to surrender our relationships, finances, time, and plans to Jesus, I know He will be faithful to rough out our hard edges and soften our hearts to love others well.

So we have to ask some hard questions. How have we loved falsely? How have I cared more about my status, finances, plans than others? How have I been a taker, not a giver. What do I need to drop so I can replace it with sincere love??

Jesus forgive us for when we have been those things and help us to love the way you love. 

 

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals with WL on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk

 

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We made this for YOU! Grab your copy of our newly released 90-day devotional HERE. It’s full of life changing truth that points to the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you.

 

A Pep Talk for the Soul

I waver back and forth. I wonder why and how. I doubt the truth in front of my face. Where we stand on the assurance of God’s love is a battle of the mind. Like so many in the Bible, we sometimes have to give our souls a pep talk. We have to choose to believe in God’s love and forgiveness when our feelings say different.

David, a psalmist and king on the run, wrote Psalm 25. And it struck me with force today because it hits close to home. It’s for rebels and doubters. It’s a pep talk for the soul to trust in God’s love.

Let me translate Psalm 25 how it resonates with me…

” To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust…” Psalm 25  (emphasis mine)

(Jesus, I don’t know about all this, but I trust in you. I surrender even though I’m scared)

“…Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach mefor you are the God of my salvation…people-2602616_1920.jpg

(Jesus I don’t know what I’m doing. I need your help. You say you are all knowing and all powerful so be that and teach me with YOUR wisdom. Lead my life because I tend to make a mess of things)

“…Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast lovefor they have been from of old.Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me…

(Lord you’ve seen it all. They say you are all about mercy, grace, and love. Help me believe that because sometimes I doubt. Help me believe that you forgive all my mistakes and sins. Help me believe you love me, the real me, despite all my junk.)

They say you are all about mercy, grace, and love. Help me believe that because sometimes I doubt.

“…Good and upright is the Lord;therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness…

(Jesus you are who you say you are. You are good and loving. I know that in my core. You will do what you say you will do. You are faithful even when I’m not. I know you will direct my ways. I know you will lead me my whole life even when I don’t deserve it. You ARE the God who loves me and is for me. And I AM important to you and tucked into your grace.)

You ARE the God who loves me and is for me. And I AM important to you and tucked into your grace.

If you’ve ever been a rebel or a made a big mistake or felt far from God…take heart. You are in good company here. Jesus didn’t come for the perfect, He came for those who know they need a Savior. Those of us who know we don’t have it all together. But as our faith and trust in God’s love grows, He will lead our rebel hearts in a new way– a better way. Because of Jesus, we aren’t who we used to be. Each day when we wake up and step into His grace we are a new creation in Christ, a new and more awesome version of ourselves as we follow Him.

So as we close this month focusing on God’s love, sink deep into truth. You are loved. You are forgiven. You are worth everything to God despite your track record. You have a new track record– righteousness in Christ– because He loves you and rescued you when you couldn’t rescue yourself. You. Are. Loved. Let that truth be who you are.

You. Are. Loved. Let that truth be who you are.  

 

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him.Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on crosswalk.com