Identity Wars – In the Bible

Did you know there were several people in the Bible that wrestled with insecurity and identity struggles? Today, we are going to look at one of them, Peter. 

Peter wrestled with a BIG view of himself and a small view of God:

  • He was confident – he had a big view of himself 
  • So much so that he sincerely thought that Jesus needed his help!

Here’s what happened: Jesus was preparing His disciples for His coming death on the Cross. So imagine if you will, the conversation between Jesus and Peter – 

  • John 13:36 – Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” 
  • Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 
  • Peter was often the first to speak up. 
  • Peter asks Jesus in the next verse “Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you”.

So bold and confident was Peter at this point

It seemed like he didn’t care at all about what others thought of him

It doesn’t seem like the thief has come and stolen his identity 

Well let’s check out a little more of what happened: Jesus knew Peter’s heart and not just what he heard from Peter’s words. Jesus knew the state of Peter’s weak view of Jesus and his big view of himself. 

Friends, Jesus knows you. He know’s your heart and not just your words. You may be about to convince others but Jesus know’s more about you than you know about yourself. 

The root of insecurity and identity struggles center on a high view of self and small view of Christ. In the coming blogs we will take that statement apart a little bit.

John 13:38 – “Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times”. Jesus looks past how Peter viewed himself and wants to give Him life and life in abundance but in order to get there Peter has to lay down his self confidence which hides his insecurity. Peter clearly didn’t believe Jesus’ insights.  

After Jesus was arrested, who do you think was right? Was it confident Peter or wise, all-knowing Jesus? In chapter 18 of John we see what happens. Jesus is arrested and standing trial. Peter watches the events as they happen and then denies Jesus three times! What happened Peter? What has changed from “I will never deny you – I will die for you”? Peter flatly lies and denies even knowing Jesus.  

What causes the bold to crumble? When faced with a little pressure from others why did Peter totally contradict what he said to Jesus? 

I believe the answer to that question rests on how we see God and how we view ourselves. Why do we struggle so much with what others think of us? 

Here’s the central problem, and for some of you, you might be shocked to hear this. Some of you have never made this connection before. 

  • We look to others to do what only Christ can do.
  • We are controlled by what you think other people think about you.

The thief wants to steal your identity rooted in Christ so that you fear men. So that you look to others to do what only God can do. 

As I close let me ask you to do this: start counting the number of times a day you think to yourself: ‘I wonder what that person thinks about me?’. You may be surprised to see how many times you wrestle with that thought. 

More to come but think about this: God has a lot to say about you and that heart for you is centered on His selfless sacrificial love! 

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