Managing Stress Like Jesus: Know Who You Are

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Jesus knew exactly who He was. And we need to know exactly who we are, who God created us to be. Because if you don’t know your identity, you’ll depend too much on what other people say about you.

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6 CSB).

If you don’t know who you are, you’ll find all sorts of people who are more than happy to tell you.

Our culture will try to mold you into a certain image. Your parents will try to turn you into what they think you should be. Your friends, your spouse, and your co-workers will all have their ideas, too.

Not knowing who you are—and letting everyone else mold you into their image—is a leading cause of stress for people today. 

Jesus gives us another model. He shows us the principle of identification, which is the first principle of stress management from the life of Jesus.

Jesus had no doubt as to his identity. In fact, he defines himself with “I am” statements 18 times in the Bible. He does this every time he says “I am . . .” and then declares key truths.

Jesus says: “I am the truth. I am the way. I am the life. I am the Son of God. I am sent from my Father above. I am the door. I am the bread of life. I am the living water.”

Jesus knew exactly who he was.

And we need to know exactly who we are, who God created us to be.

If you don’t know your identity, you’ll depend too much on what other people say about you.

Stress happens when you try to be something you’re not. We all start off as originals, but too often we end up as carbon copies of somebody else—because we don’t know who we are.

When you learn who you are, you’re less dependent upon the approval of others and you’re more stress-resistant.

In John 14:6, we read this: “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (CSB). Jesus didn’t need anyone else’s opinions to prop him up. Neither do you.

Talk It Over

  1. What struggles have you faced as you’ve tried to nail down your identity?
  2. How have other people tried to manipulate your identity?
  3. In a sentence or two, how would you define who God made you to be?

 

This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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