I am not who I say I am. You are not who you say you are. I am who God says I am. You are who God says you are. One of the biggest problems in our culture is the belief that personal feelings hold more value than the truth. Your desires are an inadequate guide for your life. What you crave in hunger is not a good guide for what you eat. What if we consumed whatever we wanted to eat in the moment?
The same goes for your feelings. They are fickle. And your feelings are often wrong. Your desires alone are a terrible guide for life. And your identity should be found only in Christ. This Sunday, we are covering the addition to status. What is the definition of status? Simply, it is your standing relative to others. Everyone has a status. Status becomes problematic when we become self-absorbed in our opinions and desires.
We can become addicted to ourselves through three means:
- Power: How can I control others?
- Influence: How can I persuade others or get their attention?
- Vanity: How can I make others accept me?
The book of Ecclesiastes contains a lot about vain pursuits.
Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4 (NLT)
Trying to achieve status for yourself is like chasing the wind. How does status become like a drug to us? Through pride. You can use pride with two strategies. First, you can have too high a view of yourself to gain power or influence. Second, you can have too low a view of yourself to gain attention. Both strategies are sins of vanity—putting yourself in the middle of everyone else.
One of the greatest temptations is believing you can claim your identity apart from God. I am not who I say I am. Rather, I am who God says I am! We will all be tempted by the desire to make ourselves in our own image. Status, pride, and vanity were at the core of Satan’s temptation of Christ. On Sunday, we’ll examine the record of Jesus’ temptation. For now, read
Luke 4:1-13. Jesus shows the way to overcome the temptation of vanity, pride, and the love of status.