We’ve talked about the Mirror, Mirror Syndrome and how it causes Snow Whites to turn into cruel Stepmothers. Now let us discuss how we can guard against its pitfalls (that we talked about here).
Guarding Against Pitfall #1 – Misplaced Identity
As I mentioned in my previous article on When Snow White Becomes The Cruel Stepmother, building our identity on what is temporal is the surest path to the Mirror, Mirror syndrome. The cruel Stepmother was once a sweet, pretty young thing too, just like Snow White. But fear of losing that beauty, and along with it everything her life had been built on, turned her into the evil woman who would do anything to protect her status of “fairest in all the land”.
I have found that the numero uno culprit for turning many a Snow White into the cruel Stepmother is misplaced identity.
What are some temporal things that young women tend to build their identity upon?
- Their youthful good looks
- Their unlimited supply of energy
- Their (untested) optimism/zeal/passion
- Their ability to contribute fresh ideas
- Their achievements and successes
- Their popularity
- Their status
- Their material acquisitions
The list is quite inexhaustive.
Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly warns us that everything that can be shaken will be shaken. This shaking is “the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:27)
This means that everything that is temporal will one day be stripped away, in order to reveal what is eternal and unshakable.
The best way to guard against misplaced identity is to focus on building in our lives the things that are eternal and unshakable.
What are some things that are unshakable?
Hebrew 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” God proves this point in the Hall of Fame in the book of Hebrews – He lists down every man who had faith in Him, forever to be remembered by all even after thousands of years. Talk about leaving behind a lasting impact!
Bible Character Study: Abraham
Abraham is a classic example of someone whose identity did not come from his own strengths or achievements. He is known as the father of faith, and it is his faith that has made him a legendary hero till this day.
Abraham walked close to God. He was the man through whom the entire nation of Israel was birthed (Genesis 12). God even consulted Abraham before He made a decision to destroy a city (Genesis 18). He was so devout that he was even willing to sacrifice his only son to God (Genesis 22).
In fact, read Genesis 12-22 and you will see that Abraham had a great many things to boast of if he wanted to. BUT it was none of these things that made Abraham a legend!
God says that it was Abraham’s faith that did it:
“If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”” Romans 4:2
Evidently, faith is extremely important to the heart of God! Works, achievements, and even our religiosity are not eternal. Faith is.
Cultivate faith and you will never have to fear insecurity.
How to cultivate faith? One small step at a time (: The very first step is to start reading the Bible consistently. Romans 10:17 says that, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Read your Bible daily, let it sink into your heart, and apply it practically in your life. Trust me, you will see a difference in your faith level as you keep doing this!
The Bible is full of promises about the eternal value of righteousness. Some references are Mathew 24:46, Romans 5:21, Psalms 119:160, Proverbs 12:28.
Bible Character Study: Job
Job was a man declared by God as righteous (Job 1:1). This made his fame spread to the point that satan wanted to test him. Talk about popularity!
God allowed Job to be tested, and I believe it was because He wanted to prove to satan, to the world, and even to Job himself that righteousness is eternal.
Here is what Job said in the midst of all his trials, “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)
Gold, when put through the fire, doesn’t perish like most other things. Instead, it just gets purer and more valuable. That is the case with righteousness.
Develop righteousness in your life and you will have a lasting treasure and legacy.
In my next post, I will continue the list of the things we can build in our lives that are eternal and unshakable. Till then, what other areas can you think of which are eternal and unshakable that you can build in your life?