Aaron Pennington – Queen Creek Campus Pastor
Are you tired? Not from running this morning, or playing with the kids, not from a long day of work, or because you slept horribly last night. Are you tired of managing the perceptions others have of you? Are you working overtime on Facebook to create a new image of yourself because you don’t like what others think of you in person? Are you looking for your self-worth in all the wrong places? Can one person’s critical comment of you devastate your life and make you question who you really are? If you answered yes to any of these, you might be struggling with perception management.
I am a recovering perception manager. I used to find my identity in what others thought of me including questions like: Do you think I am attractive, funny, fun to be around, smart, good at sports, helpful, hard worker, etc? I can tell you from experience that this will wear you out, make you anxious, cause inconsistency in your character as you try to manage those perceptions. It will also make you vain, make you lie, and ultimately it will lead you to a place where you no longer know who you are. Although I cannot say I am fully recovered, I can say that these things no longer define me. However, I still have some things I hope others perceive of me.
I hope others perceive that I am completely confident in the fact that my identity is in Christ, and Him alone. I hope they see me attempting to love others more than I love myself. I hope they see me make huge sacrifices on behalf of my family. I hope they see humility grow in my character as I battle my pride that I am completely full of. I hope they see a regular guy doing incredible things for the Kingdom of God, because of the power that is at work within me (Eph. 3:20). But, the key in all of this for me is that it is not just a perception, but the reality of my life.
If you are struggling with perception management…stop it! Seriously, stop it! That was free 😉 Let me encourage you with some words from your Father in heaven. Put these verses on your mirror, in your car, on the fridge, and let them begin to create within you a new identity, one that is only defined by who you are in Christ. Also, watch this quick video, as I think it is exactly what you need to hear today.
Galatians 326 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith
Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
1 John 3: 1-2 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Colossians 3: 1-3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
2 Corinthians 1:22 He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts