“This is just who I am!”
Have you ever said that? Has anyone ever said that to you?
Check. And check.
You and I have a tendency to see certain things not as sin but as our personality. But what if, in our in-born slavery, the things we call ‘personality’ or ‘make-up’ are our pattern because of lies we’re believing, rather than because of intrinsically who we are?
I will always say: you and I have no idea how many lies we believe. It’s not hard to recognize we believe lies whispered to us by the devils in our flesh. But it is harder to see how thoroughly saturated we are with lies. How many little white lies manipulate our every thought, word, and action.
MAKING SIN INTO PERSONALITY
I absolutely believe God gave every one of us a distinct and unique personality.
And I absolutely believe the enemy works tirelessly to pervert the gorgeous God-design in each of us.
How much of what we chalk up to personality is the outworking of the lies we struggle most with?
How does fear manifest in your personality? Does it make you shy? Does it make you people please? Does it make you strive to prove yourself? Does it make you jealous? Does it make you competitive? Does it make you control every situation? Does it make you shut down in conflict?
Keep in mind: fear is liar.
These things, then, are not personality, but the outworking of little white lies we believe. How we both process and manifest the lies we believe is unique to our background, history, family life, and circumstances. But the lies we believe and live out of are not our personality, they’re our unique form of slavery.
TAKING SIN PERSONALLY
When we translate our unique form of slavery to be who we are, we are refusing freedom.
We’re choosing stuck instead.
Because we struggle to recognize sin (because it is cleverly disguised as freedom), the Bible helps us with this:
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these… (Gal. 5:19-21, ESV)
Paul is helping us understand that when these things manifest in us, we are not ascertaining the kingdom of God in Christ Jesus. We’re not living from the resources of God, but from the resources in our own flesh and blood. We’re not wishing-toward God for strength, His true thoughts, light, freedom, power, authority, love, hope, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.
You and I need to get in the habit of disassociating little white lies with who we are. You are not the little white lie you are manipulated by. You didn’t even originate it. Your enemy slave-master did. He planted it in you in an hour of vulnerability and pain. He did so strategically, purposefully, and with intention to maintain control over you.
By disassociating ourselves with the lies we believe—by seeing who whispers them to us—we can move forward, unoffended by the suggestion that they = sin. And we can blaze ahead willing to embrace the freedom available to us in Christ Jesus.
BELIEVING THERE’S MORE FOR US
Friends, there’s so much more for us. You and I can live free from the distortions the enemy imposes on our personalities and lives.
When we tune in to, follow, and are empowered by the kingdom in us (via the Holy Spirit), we live outside of fear, we live apart from little white lies.
Imagine yourself free of fear. How would this affect the personality or life you have right now? Imagine your life apart from self-sufficiency. How much burden would be lifted off your shoulders? What would your personality look like at peace? What would your personality look like in freedom?
Isn’t the mere thought of it glorious?
It is to me.
You guys, what Jesus did for us on the cross, who He is now in glorified form, and who He’s poured out into us (the Holy Spirit), changes everything! Darkness can’t oust the darkness in us. But Jesus can.
Would you take your sin less personally today? It’s not you and it wasn’t originated by you. Would you dare to pursue freedom today? There is always more for us in Christ Jesus!
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom. 7:24-25)
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (Heb. 2:14-15)
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