“you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18
The word says to love your neighbor as yourself. But how can you love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself? And furthermore, how can you love yourself if you don’t know who you are? And if you don’t know who you are how can you ever feel secure if the foundation you’re building your identity on is a shakable one. For example;
I find my identity in my job as a teacher. I know this because I make statements like, “I am a teacher”. However, suddenly the school I work for let’s go of several teachers and I’m one of them. For reasons I can’t explain or understand I can’t find another teaching job and I’m forced to work at a restaurant as a waitress. Now my “I am” statement is forced to change from “I am a teacher” to “I am a waitress.”
The foundation of my identity has changed, changing me and my view of myself in the process. This kind of instability creates a Fear inside me that is very difficult to battle, because it often goes unrecognized.
An unstable foundation is what Satan uses against us in order to push our Fear button and cause us to run in the opposite direction from where God wants us. In order to fulfill the command to love thy neighbor, we must 1st love ourselves. But first we’ve got to establish an unshakable foundation on which to build our identity. In order to do this we must first understand who God is. He is an unshakable, unchangeable foundation and our source. The next step is to build ourselves upon Him with materials that can withstand the test of fire. So that when the storms of life hit we do not fall flat like a house built on sand. With our identity firmly founded in Christ, it is possible to have no fear of drought or storm. Because no matter how many shingles blow off our roof, or how much of our hair turns silver, our foundation will never change. The thing that makes me, me, will always be the same.
Luke 12:32 (HCSB) “Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom.”
Matthew 9:22 (HCSB) “But Jesus turned to her and saw her. ‘Have courage, daughter,’ He said, ‘Your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that moment.”
Revelation 1:17&18 (HCSB) “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me and said, ‘Don’t be afraid! I am the First the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look – I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Mark 10:49 (HCSB) “Have courage! Get up; He’s calling for you.”
Daniel 10:19 (HCSB) “Don’t be afraid, you who are treasured by God. Peace to you; be very strong!”
Luke 1:28 & 30 “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! … Do not be afraid, (insert YOUR name here), for you have found favor with God.”
Mark 5:36 (HCSB) “Do not be afraid. Only Believe.”