Where do you find your identity and self worth?
Is it in how you look, who you know or who you date?
A lot of times as teenage girls, rather than looking to God – the one who made us and knows us inside and out – we look around us to what we physically see and who we know. We look in the mirror, we ask friends, we search social media, we find a guy. But all of these things are really shallow. Social media changes by the second. What’s in today is out tomorrow. Friends come and go, boyfriends disappoint. And when we anchor our self-worth or our identity to these things, we are in for a lot of disappointment and heartache.
The definition of identity is who you truly are on the inside. It has nothing to do with anything external.
The perfect scripture to sum this up is: 1 Samuel 16:7b says – “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
So how do you know if you are dealing with “mistaken identity”? Take a look at what we usually value more than what’s happening on the inside of us: (The inside is where our true identity lies).
- Your self-worth comes from your Appearance.
Do you care more about what you look like, than how you act?
Our society values appearance. Teen girls everywhere idolize women like Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Emma Roberts. They are envied because of their looks, followers and popularity. But their public lives are only a piece of their real lives. What we see on billboards, magazines, social media and TV are the images their publicists want everyone to see – modified, edited, photoshopped images that create a reality for girls to envy and look up to. Every once in awhile we hear what they are really going through, but quickly those things are swept aside, so you can focus on the surface things like what they are wearing or what hairstyle or make-up brand they use.
Proverbs 31:30 – “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Do you know any women who really fear the Lord? Maybe you should follow their lives a little more closely?
- Your identity comes from who you know.
From the time we are little, we understand the social system of popularity. We create categories and try to identify where we fit best. Our identities are formed by those we hang with – the athletes, the preppy kids, the nerds, etc. – and from a very young age, we believe our identity is defined by who we know. But, when we try to find our value in the friends we hang with or if our identity is wrapped up in that, we become devastated when relationships fall apart.
As teen girls, we often get caught in the trap of comparing ourselves with other girlfriends. We compare our looks, talents and abilities with those we hang with. It creates a feeling of “I’m not good enough because everyone around me is prettier, smarter or more talented.”
The truth is: Our value does come from someone we know, and that person is Jesus. Think about this for a second: you have been invited to have a personal relationship with God – the creator of the universe. What greater relationship could there be on the planet?
- Your worth comes from a boyfriend.
A lot of times as girls, we find our identities in who we date. We think that we need a guy to tell us we are beautiful and loved, rather than knowing we are absolutely adored by God.
A lot of times, the way we feel about ourselves totally depends on whether we are noticed in a room, or get enough social media likes on a post. Our value and worth is dependent on how guys treat us on any given day. If we are noticed or complimented, it’s a good day. If we are ignored, it’s a terrible day and we feel awful about ourselves.
Guys cannot determine your value or worth. Jesus did that when He died for you. He proved that you are so precious and valuable – valuable enough to DIE for. Relationships are fragile, and change and if your value is based on the guy you are with, as soon as that relationship ends, your self-worth will be shattered. You have to know who you are and who you belong to in order to remain secure in your identity.
Isaiah 43:1 says – Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (This is what God says about you.)
THIS is the place of secure identity – the place of knowing we belong to God.
So I’d encourage you today – don’t base your identity on things like your appearance, your group of friends or having a boyfriend. Let your true identity come from knowing you belong to God and that He absolutely adores you – just the way you are!
Pam Lozano is the Founder and President of Pure Design Ministries and Teen Magazine. She is a Youth Pastor with her husband at Oasis City Church in Westerville, Ohio. She loves investing in and mentoring the next generation to raise them up to be who God has designed them to be. Pam loves to write, drink Starbucks with friends and go for long walks.