(Photo by Natalie Baugh)
10 Things That Shouldn’t Define You
By Zelda Dominguez
When we lose sight of who we are and desire value and identity, or when we want to define ourselves, remember what it says in God’s Word. Use that as the sure and true guide of our worth. Here is a short list for quick reference.
10 Things That Shouldn’t Define You:
Your Past: No matter what kind of upbringing, home situation, mistakes you’ve made, if you come from divorce parents, or dysfunctionality, etc. Even if you may have regrets or think it’s too late, don’t judge yourself by your past, or let unforgiveness hold you back either. Whatever you were before receiving Christ, 2 Corinthians says, “ALL things pass away and all things become new, we are new creations in Christ Jesus.” Don’t let yesterday steal your present.
Your Gender: There was a time in my life I had a false perception of women. I learned to think women were sniveling drama queens and I did not want to identify with that. So I became my own version of a feminist at a young age. I had no role models to identify with, so I made up my own definition of who I was based on a lot of bad examples. Some people totally depend on gender to identify themselves and are now even coming up with new genders.
Your Education: Whether you got a GED, went to college, or dropped out of high school, changed your major, graduated with honors or went to trade school, your education does not define you. I set a goal by age 25 that I wanted to be done and graduated with college. When I didn’t reach that goal I felt bad about myself. I started lying that I had finished because I put a lot of value in what others thought of me. I was so wrong. Education is good and important, but you are not your achievements, credentials, grades, or degrees.
Your Relationship Status: Are you single, in a relationship, married or divorced? Remember you are not your relationships. Whether you’re in one or not, that does not identify who you are. Because you are not in a relationship doesn’t mean you are a loser or a “Big Zero” as I was called by my family when I wasn’t married by a certain age. A significant other does not make you more valued or a better person.
Your Occupation & Income: Many people introduce themselves by their profession, or job title. People put a lot of clout or status on certain jobs, but that still does not define who you are as a person. Along with certain occupations comes prestige, or a higher salary, but even the amount of zeros on your pay check should never be used as a measure. This is something you do, not who you are.
Your Race: I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone looked like me.When I moved at 14, it was a culture shock. There were very few in high school that I could identify with. Maybe you were taught the importance of your culture and heritage (that is awesome). But where prejudices, or racism enters, it distorts the view of things. So, to use race only to define us on that basis is definitely wrong. No race is lesser or greater than the other. God created us all in His image.
Your Appearance: We live in a photoshopped world. Like I mentioned with social media users, they want other’s approval. We’ve become a voyeur society. celebrities, advertisements, etc. are not real images, and that has affected us. In my past, I developed an eating disorder to stay thin so as not to lose my boyfriend (so dumb!). The size we wear does not say who we are. Nor any part of our appearance. God says he knew us while we were in our mother’s womb and we were fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your Friends: Not all counsel from friends are good. Sometimes we see ourselves through others. Others can be intimidating and peer pressure sways us. But, remember, your personality and character will resonate with others more than you think.