How We Perceive Ourselves

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16, 17).

Lydia is a middle-aged woman who was dealt a bad hand in life right from the beginning. Memories of ritual and sexual abuse that she suffered as a young child have haunted her continually throughout her Christian life. When she came to see me, her damaged self-image seemed beyond repair. As she told me her story, Lydia displayed little emotion, but her words reflected total despair.

When she concluded, I asked, "Who are you, Lydia? How do you perceive yourself?"

"I'm evil," she answered stoically. "I'm just no good for anybody. People tell me I'm evil and all I do is bring trouble."

"You're not evil," I argued. "How can a child of God be evil? Is that how you perceive yourself?" Lydia nodded.

It is never pleasant to see the evil one express his ugly personality through a victim like Lydia. But realizing that she is primarily the product of the work of Christ on the cross instead of the victim of her past, she was able to throw off the chains of spiritual bondage and begin living according to her true identity as a child of God.

Nothing is more foundational to your freedom from Satan's bondage than understanding and affirming what God has done for you in Christ and who you are as a result. We all live in accordance with our perceived identity. In fact, we cannot consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with how we perceive ourselves. Your attitudes, actions, responses and reactions to life's circumstances are often determined by your conscious and subconscious self-perception. If you see yourself as the helpless victim of Satan and his schemes, you will live like his victim and be in bondage to his lies. But if you see yourself as the dearly loved and accepted child of God that you really are, you will more likely live like a child of God.

Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers

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