Identity and Value: Two Truths and a Lie
Much of our identity is formed as children. This is when we begin to understand who we are, what others think about us, what we think about ourselves and how we are valued. It is a huge challenge for some of us to understand the concept of being identified with Christ or being in Christ because our identity and sense of value is so tied to our background and upbringing.
We can get all tangled up in thinking our identity is based solely on how others view or value us, whether we are attractive or not, if we are particularly talented at something and what we do, our position and power, how our family has loved or supported us, how much we have in material possessions or salary. Finally, we learn to understand that our identity is found in how God views us and loves us, and our value comes from the fact that we belong to Him!
Esther, in the Bible, was orphaned as a child when her mother and father died. Her Cousin, Mordecai adopter her as his own. She was known to be beautiful physically. Mordecai also warned Esther not to share her identity as a Jewish girl or her family history. Esther 2:5-7,10, 15-18.
We all know the story of how Esther becomes queen, after a long beauty pageant. She could have found her identity in the fact that she was orphaned, then adopted and after that she ends up with a family secret, the fact that she was Jewish. In a room full of women, I asked, “How many of you have a family secret?” It seemed like everyone raised their hands, so I asked the question another way to be clearer. I asked, “How many of you do NOT have a family secret?” Not one person raised their hand.
That was shocking to me! Our family secrets can definitely be something that shapes our identity. If we are keeping family secrets because they are shameful and we don’t want to be exposed, it can be an anchoring point for us and make us feel unworthy or less valuable. Our identity seems like a fraud and so we feel as though we need to pretend to be something we are not.
In Esther’s case though, Mordecai would have understood what it was to be exiled due to the fact that his family was Jewish and exiled under King Nebuchadnezzar. In order to protect Esther and her people, Mordecai warned her not to reveal her nationality. When Esther was inside the King’s palace, Mordecai hung out at the gates to check on her and while he was there, he overheard two guards plotting to assassinate the king! What are the odds of that happening? Mordecai had made it his mission to care for Esther, therefore when the king’s life was in jeopardy that meant it would affect Esther and Mordecai warned the king.
Misplaced Identity and Value
After this event, Haman who was a bad guy in the King’s court was elevated in his position. The position and power went to his head and he became very prideful. He was all about himself. He would walk by Mordecai at the gate and expected him to bow, but Mordecai would not which made him so angry he plotted to kill Mordecai. When he found out Mordecai was a Jew, he plotted to kill all the Jew’s as well, since it would be his religious beliefs that would prevent him from bowing to Haman.
Haman, was mistaken to think that his position and power were meant for his own personal gain. Meanwhile, Mordecai understood his position was for protecting the life of his niece and ultimately their people. Mordecai brought this news to Esther and told her to ask the king to save their people. She knew this would be a risk for her own life to go before the king as it was against the law to approach the king unless you were called upon by invitation.
Two Truths and a Lie: Expose the Lie
Mordecai, called out Esther’s identity and value at the moment to say (two truths and a lie)
1. If you don’t rise up someone else will.
2. You have come to your royal position for something greater than yourself, Esther.
3. Don’t think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.
Mordecai had to speak to her fear and expose the lie that she could save herself. She was not there because of her beauty to give her prominence for herself. Those were just part of the story that got her to where she was needed for eternal purposes. Esther’s purpose was to use her position and beauty and power to save all of God’s people and she is forever known for this! We still quote these famous words spoken by Mordecai, “Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this!” Esther 4:12-15
Esther did rise up and was resolved and said, “If I perish, I perish.” Her position was not meant to be her story of rising from an orphan to being queen but her story was meant to save all of God’s people. Her identity had to be called out by someone from the outside who knew what was being plotted in the darkness. Her value was found in doing what was eternal not what came from inside the palace in the form of possessions and power and prominence.
Our purpose is realized when we surrender our lives completely over to God. As we surrender as an act of obedience, it reveals our value and our identity. We are able to see how he puts us in places of influence for his glory and not for our own. Mordecai was a very special man who knew his purpose from the start. He took Esther as his own and raised her to know who she was. He taught her when to speak and when it was appropriate to not speak. He raised her to know her beauty was meant for something more than vanity. He raised her to understand that favor was meant to be an open door to influence for something far greater than herself. He was not afraid to expose what was hidden in the dark. He was bold enough to warn Esther that her opportunity would be lost if she did not understand her identity and value came from a place that was not found in the palace!
Have you had a Mordecai in your life, someone who has warned that you could miss something if your flesh gets in the way? I have. Her name is Karen. I was at a retreat one time and I felt a strong impression on my heart for her that I thought was from the Lord. I shared in a time of prayer, with 12 women of God who are all leaders in their own spheres. I added extra authority as I was afraid it wouldn’t be received unless I made it seem very urgent. (Of course, I wasn’t really aware of my added emphasis consciously.) The other women stepped in and started sort of softening what I had said and comforting her. I was baffled, thinking, “What are they doing? They are ruining the word I felt was from the Lord.”
After the prayer time, Karen came up privately and sat down by me on the couch and thanked me for the word. She said she felt it was from the Lord. Then she asked, “Can I share something with you?” UGH, I could feel it, I just knew I was about to be disciplined by the Lord. You know how sometimes you just know? I must add first, to know Karen is to love her. She is one of those godly women who is so gentle and kind and just has a quiet spirit the Bible talks about. She proceeded to share with me that I don’t have to add emphasis to the word that God is giving and even when shared with gentleness it is filled with power because of the Holy Spirit, not because of how we say it. She shared how the other women were coming to her aid because of the tone in which I had shared it. I sat there bawling feeling so embarrassed and humiliated, which I know was actually just a breaking down of my own flesh to become more like Jesus.
I cried and told her the same, of how I was so embarrassed, and I knew that she was right. She prayed a very loving prayer over me, and I have not ministered from that place of fear and pride since that time. You see my identity and value was wrapped up more in how I was viewed by others than understanding that when I am in Christ, I am to fear more what he thinks of me and that I represent him well. It is meant for the building of the Kingdom of God not my status or reputation.
Your purpose is in context with your whole life. It is not a moment in time unrelated to anything else leading up to an event. Our life is meant to be in Christ, that we have the mind of Christ and we are representing him daily. When it comes to our value and our identity, it is like the game two truths and a lie, we need to learn to see the truths about our identity and value and expose the lies for what they are!
You are complete in Christ and as you seek to obey him daily, he will not allow you to miss your destiny as you keep your position, power, and purpose submitted to Him! No one and no thing can define your identity or determine your value without your permission! Find the truths and expose the lies! You are meant to be who you are with all of your story. Choose Christ and be identified in Him and there you will find your true value! He loves you and so do I!
*Pictured above is the 4 teams in Above All Else Ministries that you can be a part of if you are interested in serving. Email Taylor@capitallife.org for more info.