One of the things that I am discovering more and more about people is that they have a poor appraisal of who they are. In other words, their self-esteem is extremely low. I think it is because they have allowed someone else to tell them who they are. I think that it is important for people to get their identity from the One that created them, which is God. When you allow someone else to tell you who you are, you will always have a blurred view of who you really are. It is my goal with this month’s column to help you to really understand who you really are.
In Judges 6:11-12, there is a man by the name of Gideon who didn’t understand who he really was. Gideon comes on the scene at the time when the children of Israel had been put into the hands of the Midianites because of their rebellion against God. The Midianites had taken all of the children of Israel’s crops and their livestock. And, what is even sadder is that they would end up in captivity for seven years. But in the midst of this captivity, Gideon was visited by an angel under a tree in Ophrah. When the angel visited Gideon at this place, Gideon was threshing wheat by the winepress. Threshing wheat was always done in an open area so the wind could blow the chaff from the wheat. But Gideon was at the bottom of the hill at the winepress hiding from the enemy and fearing for his life. Where he should have been was at the top of the hill in an open area. In other words, he was hiding from the enemy and at the same time he was out of place. Here is the irony in this story. While Gideon is hiding from the enemy and fearing for his life, God speaks to him and calls him a mighty warrior or a mighty hero. Imagine that!
Here he is a farmer at the time, but God calls him a mighty man of valor. How can God call him a mighty hero when he is hiding and fearing for his life? When Gideon hears what was said about him he actually thought that God was talking to someone else. In verse 15 of Judges 6, Gideon starts to do what most of us have done in our lives. He started to make excuses about why he wasn’t able to bring the children of God to a place of victory. His excuse was that he didn’t come from the proper family to do such a thing. In other words, he saw his flaws and failures and not his power and potential. He had a poor assessment of himself.
How many times have we made excuses about what we could and could not do? How many times have we let opportunities pass us by because we didn’t feel adequate enough to make something happen? That is because you and I don’t see ourselves the way God sees us. God never addresses Gideon’s excuses but rather, God helps him to understand who he is by calling him mighty. When you and I understand that God is with us, nothing else really matters. God never sees our problems, He sees our potential. I have come to the conclusion that I will not allow anyone to tell me who I am because God has already told me who I am. If you and I can get that in our inner man, we would not allow anyone else to dictate to us who we are.
How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as a victim or a victor? Do you see yourself flourishing or failing? You are mighty! Live like you are a conqueror!
Be blessed, but most of all be a blessing!
Rev. Knighton is a member and the administrative pastor of Greater 2nd Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Albany and pastor of St. James Baptist Church in Baconton.