The way you see your life shapes your life.
I wrote those words 16 years ago in The Purpose Driven Life, and I still mean them today. We’re tempted to see ourselves as everyone else does. You know the way it goes. You see yourself as broken and beaten up. You see yourself as an addict or former addict. You see yourself as a failure.
If that’s what you believe about who you are, you’ll never become who God wants you to be. How you define your life determines your destiny.
That’s one of the reasons why, when John Baker first started Celebrate Recovery®, he didn’t ask people to identify themselves by their addictions.
Instead, in Celebrate Recovery, participants each identify themselves as “a believer who struggles with” a specific issue.
There’s a huge difference between the two. Your identity isn’t your sin. Your identity is in your Savior.
Don’t let the ugly words in your past (or even in your present) define you any longer.
Other people may see you as broken and damaged goods. But that’s not how God sees you.
I don’t know where you are in your walk with God today, but if you truly understand how God sees you—and how you fit into what he is doing in the world—it’ll change your life. You’ll never be the same again.
If you’re a born-again follower of Jesus, the Bible says you’re a child of God. It’s your spiritual birthright.
John 1:12-13 says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (NIV).
As a born-again believer, your birthright will last forever. Imagine that. There will never, ever be a time when you won’t be a child of God.
When God looks at your right now, he isn’t looking at your failures. He isn’t counting your flaws. He isn’t logging your past sin.
When God looks at you, he sees a child of God.
That means . . .
1. God sees you as acceptable.
Nothing hurts us more in life than rejection. As a result, we spend most of our lives doing all we can to avoid it. It drives what we wear, what we drive, where we live, and more.
But God settled this long ago for you. “[God] saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us . . . so that by his grace we might be put right with God and come into possession of the eternal life we hope for” (Titus 3:5, 7 GNT).
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter whom you’ve done it with. God accepts you. You’re not accepted because you’ve always done what’s right. You’re accepted because of what Jesus has done on your behalf.
2. God sees you as valuable.
Your self-worth and your net worth aren’t tied together. You determine the worth of something by looking at who owns it and what someone is willing to pay for it.
You win on both accounts. You’re not just anyone. You’re a child of God. And God paid the ultimate price to get you back. He sent his Son to the cross for you.
3. You’re lovable.
You may not always feel loved. But the consistent message of the Bible is that you are unmistakably loved by the One who created you. God says, “The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end; I will keep forever my promise of peace” (Isaiah 54:10 GNT).
God’s love for you will never, ever end. You don’t have to earn it. It’s a free gift.
4. You’re forgivable.
Before you were born, God knew the mistakes you’d make. God knew the sins you’d commit. Ephesians 1:4 reminds us that God had already decided he would forgive you: “Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be his through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before him” (GNT).
Your faults have never surprised God. He has known them all along, yet he still offers forgiveness.
5. God sees you as capable.
You’re not an accident. God created you for a purpose. He has made you completely capable of doing what he has called you to do. Jesus himself gives you the power you need.
The Bible says, “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]” (Philippians 4:13 AMPC).
To see your life how God sees it, you also have to see beyond yourself. See that God has big plans for you—plans so big that you can’t complete them on your own.
But you don’t have to try on your own. Together, we’re Jesus’ church and we’re God’s family. We’re the most powerful force on the planet when we come together for his sake.
Think about what we’re doing together through Celebrate Recovery. More than 35,000 churches around the world are using Celebrate Recovery to help people overcome their hurts, habits, and hang-ups. So far, more than 5 million individuals have completed a Step Study.
Our task is huge. I’ve said this many times before, there are two types of people: those who need recovery and know it, and those who need recovery and don’t know it. Everyone needs recovery.
God is at work in so many places through our partnership together. I can’t wait to see what God will do next!