A creator creates on purpose, and what is created has great value to the creator. But combat veterans are buying into the lie that their purpose is limited to their military service. When so much of your self-worth is tied to your career, what happens when that career comes to an end?
You were put here for a purpose. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were just given our purpose on a printout when we were born? Unfortunately life is rarely that clear. Most of us are pretty self-conscious. We are always searching for validation, and an answer to the question of “Why are we here?” This can lead us into the trap of comparison, in which there is no winning. You either don’t measure up, or you do and become prideful. You will always ask, “Am I good enough?”
Satan loves to lie to us about our identity. Our identities, or how we perceive ourselves fitting into the world, change everything. This makes it a prime target for attack, especially in times of transition.
Lie #1) I am what I do. Who are you without the Army? If you aren’t enough without your career, you won’t ever be enough with it. The idea that our worth is based on our accomplishments is a dead end. A career can be taken away. It will end eventually. The military never promised to be there for you. In Matthew 4, this is the lie used to bait Jesus to turn stones into bread. Satan is telling Jesus he hasn’t proved anything, that He is what he does.
Lie #2) I am what others think. We all have different personas that we maintain depending on our surroundings and our situations. We all engage in “positive impression management”, where we are constantly spinning things to protect our vulnerable selves. Satan offered Jesus the splendors of the world if He would bow to him, because again, Jesus didn’t have anything at this point (most pointedly, no followers).
Lie #3) My best days are behind me. If your future is limited, why push yourself? For example, if your illness becomes your focus, it can become your identity. Suffering can become your identity, and that can cause you to bypass opportunities to get well. Chances are that if you believe your best days are behind you, they probably are. The best of anything requires action and intentionality.
The way to counteract these lies is with the truth, as Jesus does in the desert. Who we are is not what we do, because that changes and passes away. We are not what others think, because others are just as flawed as we are. The only one who can give you true and lasting identity is the one who created you, loves you at your worst, and is unchanging. The only way to escape our insecurity is to take off our mortal perspective and put on a supernatural one. You are not who you think you are, you are who God says you are. The truth is God’s word, and truth says that your best days are in front of you. Don’t fear. You’ll be okay. You are not alone.
#1 I am what God says I am. Period.
#2 I am what Christ did for me.
#3 God has big plans for me.