Do You Know Your True Identity?

Overcoming the Impact of Early Experiences and Finding Security in God's Unconditional Love

Joyce Meyer
Do You Know Your True Identity

Your personal identity—how you see yourself—is often shaped by your early experiences in life.

Maybe you had a great childhood and have always had a relatively healthy self-image. Then again, maybe your parents or grandparents said and did things that made you doubt your worth. If you’re in the second group, then I can relate.

From the time I can remember until I left home at the age of 18, I was sexually, verbally, emotionally and physically abused by my father. And I carried those emotional wounds into my first marriage (he treated me badly and eventually left me), and then into my marriage with Dave.

Back then, I had a very messed up self-image. I was controlling, manipulative, angry, critical, negative, overbearing and judgmental. All I had grown up with, I had become.

Like many of you, I desperately needed to believe that I was who God said I was (see Ephesians 2:10).

Where NOT to Find Your Identity

During those years, I was born again. I loved Jesus—and I believed that my sins were forgiven and I would go to heaven when I died. But I had no peace, no joy, and no victory in my everyday life.

Here’s what my life actually looked like: I felt condemned all the time. The only time I didn’t hate myself was when I was working toward a goal, because I thought that gave me a sense of self-worth. I was worn-out, burned-out, frustrated, and absolutely miserable!

I was making the tragic mistake of trying to find my identity in things and people, rather than looking to Christ alone (see John 3:16 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Jesus had paid the price for my total deliverance, but I had no idea how to receive His gracious gift.

We Need That “Light Bulb” Moment

One day as I was reading the Bible, I came across 2 Corinthians 5:7, which says, For we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises].

The Holy Spirit stopped me and asked, Joyce, what do you believe about your relationship with God? Do you believe He loves you?

I discovered that I did think He loved me...but only if I was doing all the right things. And what I desperately needed to believe is that God’s love for me was unconditional.

What a breakthrough! That was the beginning of my emotional healing. It has been a process, but today I can honestly say I am healed and content. I know in my heart that God loves me—and I also love myself.

I encourage you to do what God told me to do: Saturate your mind with the truth of God’s Word. It is filled with reminders of His unconditional love for you!