Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 13 : Lay Up Treasures | Day 89

Find Your True Identity!

Recently, a married couple came in for counseling. The wife was frustrated, and the husband was so depressed that he could not function. He had been laid off from his job as a health care provider and had been unable to find work for two years. His job had been his life and joy. In it he had found his identity in the community and among his friends. It had given him self-worth, which was the key to his problem.

Our true identity cannot be based on what we do or on what we possess, but only on our relationship with Jesus Christ.

We all need to have an identity, which gives us status and self-esteem. However, many people believe that they will gain an identity through a position in the workplace and community or through possessions, which others will admire or even envy. Others think that they will find an identity in pleasures they pursue.

These three false identities were actually at the root of Satan's temptations to Jesus when He was in the wilderness. First, Satan tempted Jesus with the identity of pleasure: “Command that these stones be made bread." The second temptation posed an identity through position: “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down." The third temptation presented an identity in possessions as Satan showed Him all the kingdoms of the earth and their glory. “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." (See Matthew 4:1-10.)

If we look for an identity outside of a relationship with Christ, we will experience disillusionment and despair.

A few days ago I asked a 20-year-old student one of my favorite questions, "What do you want to do with your life?" The student answered, "Get a good-paying job." I then asked, "What else do you want to do?" The answer was, "Be a legislator." I then asked, "What do you want to do after that?" The response was, "Be an assistant to the President." This student was planning to find identity in possessions and position.

In contrast to this, I remember the time that I was being driven to the Taipei airport in Taiwan. I asked a 15-year-old boy in the car what he planned on doing in the future. He said that he did not know. Then my assistant, Michael LeFebvre, spoke up and said, "When I was 15, my one goal was to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. God promises that we cannot even imagine what He will do for those who love Him.” (See I Corinthians 2:9.)

In the process of surrendering my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I abandoned the goals that I had for finding my identity. Instead, I focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, and I have experienced a marvelous freedom. It doesn't matter what happens to position, possessions, or pleasures, because they are not the foundation of my life. My prayer is that each of us will experience the joy and freedom that comes by finding an identity in Christ alone.

“... Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven ... For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ...” (Matthew 6:19-21).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard