I AM says, “You Are…” Understanding Your Identity in Christ

May 10, 2009 | Comments Off on I AM says, “You Are…” Understanding Your Identity in Christ

One of the biggest issues contributing to the behavior of challenging people is what they believe about themselves. Almost any time you see a challenging person, if you look deeply enough, you’ll find a person who doesn’t really understand his or her identity in Christ. Throughout Scripture we find passages that say, “You are…” or “I Am….” Or sometimes “I have…” Yet repeatedly, wounded people [read, “most of us”] discount those passages as being for someone else or another time or for when we get it all together. The reality is, those promises are there for a reason. They tell us how God sees us. They tell us who He knows we are, under the dirt and the muck. And when we get it – really get it – really begin to believe what His word says about us, we change and become less challenging. Said differently, most of us believe lies about ourselves. When we begin to believe the Truth about ourselves, we change. These truths are key to my success in both leading groups and discipling or mentoring women. When they exchange Truth for lies, they change.

That’s why I’m excited about a new resource I was asked to review. It’s a book by author and speaker CJ Rapp called I AM Says, “You Are…: Understanding Your Identity in Christ (Authorhouse, 2009). It’s a 30-day devotional that takes an identity truth from the Word and applies it to women. Rapp starts with a brief introduction, and then ask a series of questions called “Taking Out the Trash.” I love it! I’m very visual, and am always looking for ways to communicate to women how they need to grab those lies by the collar and throw them out of their lives. Rapp’s approach is simple. What do you do with garbage? Toss it out! To help get to the bottom of the lie-based belief system (or to continue to metaphor, to find all the garbage), she asks several questions.

The next section is “Replacing the Trash with the Treasure.” A related verse offers that treasure of truth. Take out the old, wilted flowers and replace them with something fresh and alive. She offers a brief discussion of the concept, and then closes with a series of questions “For Discussion and Personal Reflection” and a prayer. This book can be used one-on-one or as a group resource for women.

cjrappWhen asked what inspired her to write I AM says, “You Are…” Understanding Your Identity in Christ, Rapp said, “One of the biggest challenges in my life has been overcoming insecurity and low self-esteem. In fact, my journey was long and difficult. My low self-esteem began during my teen years and remained into my thirties. In my late twenties I began to follow Christ. I committed my life to Him and began to read the Bible. As I read, I discovered that His Word actually contradicted lies I had long believed about my worth and my value. His words were kind, compassionate, and full of love. The more I read the more I realized that God loved me and that he didn’t think I was stupid, ugly, or worthless. Instead His Word says that I am priceless, a masterpiece, a treasure, and I am His child. He even loved me enough to send His Son to die for me. That was shocking! The girl who grew up believing that she had little worth or value was passionately loved and desired by the Creator of the universe! It was life changing for me. Through my study, acceptance of His truth, and application of God’s Word I was set free. I like to say that God replaced the trash, my negative thoughts, with the truth or the treasure of God’s Word. The more I read the more I realized I held the keys to freedom and healing in my hands. Not just for me but for other people just like me.”

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