Break Free From Those Flimsy Chains
Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:3-8
Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes—Ephesians 1:4.
You don't have to wonder why many kids grow up with a warped sense of their worth to God and to others—and a twisted sense of their true identity. Parents, teachers, the media, advertisers, and marketers can pummel into you the idea that your identity depends on how good you look, how well you perform, and how well you succeed. You can know better than that and still have a hard time shaking thoughts that put you down or control how you act.
We’re like the circus elephant whose leg is held to a stake with a bicycle chain. How can a flimsy chain control such a brawny animal? The elephant is locked up by a memory. As a baby, the elephant tried to break loose but wasn’t strong enough. It was burned into the elephant’s brain that the chain was stronger than he was, and he hasn’t forgotten that lesson. Even though the elephant could break the chain with a small yank, he rarely tries. He’s conditioned to captivity. But notice this: If he does break away, he is almost impossible to control again.
How you think about yourself works the same way. Most of us are trained to think that how we look, perform, and achieve is all-important-so even when we know better; we’re chained by that dumb idea. But God wants to set you free from the flimsy chains that keep you from realizing your full potential as God’s unique, valued creation. God’s truth is stronger than those chains. You can break free to be—and be glad to be—who God made you.
An important part of understanding who you are involves getting into your head what God says about who you are.
First God tells you that you are his child. John 1:12 says, “To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” Try putting yourself in this verse: “I have believed God and accepted him. He has given me the right to be his child.” Write these words on a card and place it where you can see it when you feel put down.
Then God says that you are chosen. Ephesians 1:4 tells us, “He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (NIV). Personalize that verse too: “I was chosen by God, before he even created the world, to be holy and blameless.”
When you let these Scripture truths dig their way deep into your heart, you see yourself afresh. You’re bigger than the chains that bind you.
REFLECT: Who shouts louder—the people around you who hand you a warped view of who you are, or God with his true view of you? Why?
PRAY: Say thanks to God for what he has shown you about yourself.