I stared at my first college report card. Most of the grades were As and Bs. Not bad.
But there was one grade that stuck out. Aural Music Theory: C. Not good.
All semester long I had struggled with this class. The professor asked us to do a whole list of seemingly impossible tasks: “Listen as I play this chord on the piano and identify its quality. Write down this rhythm as I tap it out. Listen to this melody and write it out note by note.” I knew I wasn’t getting an A in that class.
But a C. For someone who had always prided herself on good report cards, a C was depressing.
I was never good at athletics. In grade school, I was always the last kid picked for teams. I knew I would never win a beauty pageant. My sister got all the natural good looks in the family. So I based all my self-esteem in the fact that I was pretty good at memorizing facts and understanding algebra and taking tests.
What did it mean if I wasn’t good at school anymore?
Most of us tend to base our identity in our looks, our skills, or our intellect. Maybe you’ve always been the cute girl. Or perhaps you could run fast from the time you were in first grade. Or like me, you were always the one who could ace a test.
We take pride in who we are.
Now, it isn’t necessarily wrong to find satisfaction in the gifts God has given us. The problem comes when we base our identity in those gifts. We run the risk of losing the ability to like ourselves when all of our self-esteem is wrapped up in being able to please certain people or perform certain tasks. Because what happens if we can’t do them anymore?
God wants you to see that you are not just Beauty Queen, Athlete, or Comedian. You are His child and He loves you not because you are pretty or smart. He loves you because He loves you.
Romans 5:8 says:
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
It doesn’t say: God shows His love for you while you were beautiful. It doesn’t say: God shows His love for you while you were winning races.
It does say: God shows His love for us while we were still messed up. It does say: Christ died for us when we didn’t look like much.
God loves us. Period.
And that is where your identity and pride should be based. Your self-esteem won’t be rocked as long as you keep in mind this one timeless truth: God loves you as you are.
Remember, you are not only Gifted Athlete, Amazing Brainiac, or even Ordinary Girl. You are a Child of the King.
Question: Where do you tend to base your identity?
This post is adapted from my book for teens: Divine Makeover: God Makes You Beautiful.
Are you looking for a meaningful Christian gift for a young lady? Consider Divine Makeover, a book that encourages young women to find their beauty and identity in Christ. It has a lot of fun along the way with clothing analogies and fashion tips. Find it here and here.