Walking on eggshells is an expression we all have heard. The expression comes from being careful regarding your words, actions, and attitudes around individuals whom are sensitive. These individuals can strain relationships. When we need to monitor everything we say and do, it can be mentally and physically exhausting.
I have encountered many people in my lifetime. I have had relationships with sensitive people, the majority having some sort of emotional or physical trauma in their life. This trauma has left battle scars on their hearts and minds. The testimonies I have heard would leave anyone in tears and many regard these individuals as over-comers. I have done the same.
The problem arises when this sensitive person monitors, questions, and doubts the relationship. The friendship has become one-sided to their feelings, their hurts, and their pain. They may foster feelings about your relationship or about people that are just not true. Because the pain experienced has not been set free by the precious hand of Christ, these individuals live in a world of self-absorbed behavior. I know first hand how destructive selfishness can infiltrate your thoughts and attitudes. I lived many years with a lack of identity.
Before Christ touched my life in 2005, I was an emotional mess. On the outside, I could appear to have it all figured out, but on the inside, I was dying. When your spirit, heart, and mind are not grounded with Christ Jesus as the foundation, then your emotions will wreak havoc on your life.
Webster’s Dictionary defines self-identity as, “sameness of a thing with itself or individuality, self-understanding is the necessary condition of sense of self-identity.” The world defines self as a sense of individuality or your own uniqueness in a vast wilderness of people. The Bible also states individuals are created uniquely, creatively, purposefully, and intricately (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1:5). But, there is a large chasm between the two definitions.
On one side of this deep gorge is the world: self-empowerment, self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-identity. On the opposite side of this bottomless, extended canyon is the Christian faith: Christ centered, Christ focused, Christ like, and Christ follower. The two definitions, although similar, are polar opposites. The challenge presents itself when an individual accepts Christ as Savior and desires to cross over the valley from the world to the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is grafted in, joined to Him by faith as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings new life].” As Christ followers, we desire to be on His side of the crevasse. How do I get there? How do I cross from the world to the Word of God? How do I become this new creation in Christ where my old habits, thoughts, and behaviors change?
The Bible declares when we accept Christ – profess with our mouths He is Lord and are baptized with immersion under water – we have died to our old life and have been raised to life, “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was” (Romans 6:4-5).
As Christ followers, we follow His example, which is written for all to read in the Bible – the Word of God. Christ was not self-centered, He was God focused. Jesus was not self-absorbed, but humble and compassionate. Our Lord was not self-empowered; He was self-dependent on His Father. Our Savior’s self-identity was wrapped and clothed with a love for His Father. As Christ followers, we are to do the same; this goes against everything the world believes about self-esteem and self-empowerment.
The abyss separating the world from the believer can seem daunting and deep. At times, the chasm is bottomless and narrow; at other times, the valley ascends to similar plateaus. As we delve deeper into the Bible, crossing over the partitions may become easier; at times, it can be extremely difficult. The Word of God has a way of revealing truths to our hearts that are difficult to hear. Jesus said to forgive; the world says to get even. Christ said to bless those who persecute you; the world says go to war. Our Lord exemplified humility; the world demands power. The Savior of the World said to follow Him; the world encourages you to follow self.
When God begins to work in your life, drawing you closer to Him through His Word, through the church, through worship, through church elders, and through prayer, He will reveal anything in your character that goes against His Word. Once the Lord opens your eyes to see a personality flaw, a behavioral issue, or wrong thinking you may have, the choice is yours to act. A decision needs to be made. Will you seek His will as a Christ follower or will you seek your own desires?
This is where many in the church are stuck in their climb out of the chasm. Christ followers choose to hold onto un-forgiveness, past hurts, past arguments, wrong choices, and unfair judgments. The deep gorge seems to swallow those who sit down, refuse to let go of the past, and never become this new creation God desires them to be. Of course they never lose their salvation, because their hearts have accepted Christ as Lord. But, my heart is sad to see so many women never reach their full potential because they refuse to allow God to heal their broken spirits; their self worth, their self-identity, and self-awareness is stuck in the world’s view of identity.
All Christians should be able to look at their lives through a rearview mirror. We should be able to look behind us – our past or the rearview mirror – and be astounded at previous worldly behavior. We should be able to look at our life in Christ and praise Him for the changes He has made. This journey, our walk with Christ in faith, should progressively change us as we draw closer to Him, “And do not be conformed to the world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourself] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]” (Romans 12:2).
The more a Christian can read and memorize the Word of God, the more the Bible will reveal God’s character, His love, and His plan for your life. The Words of God are powerful! “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, making it bear and sprout, and providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so will my Word which goes out of my mouth; it will not return to me void [useless without result], without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-12). What an amazing description of God’s Word. His Word holds the power to change, transform, and rejuvenate your spirit, thoughts, and mind.
When Christians accept Christ, we are given the free gift of His Spirit. “But when the Helper [Comforter, Standby, Intercessor – Counselor, Strengthener, Advocate] comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about me” (John 15:26). “Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you; as the Father sent me, I also send you [as my representatives]. And when He said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:21).
The Holy Spirit fills our hearts today and guides us in all things, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor – Counselor, Strengthener, Standby], to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because the Spirit of Truth remains with you continually and will be in you. I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you” (John 14:16, 25).
How does the Holy Spirit accomplish this? “For the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a burnt heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the Holy Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse your conscious from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God” (Hebrews 9:13-14).
The Holy Spirit fills believers and saturates them with Christ Jesus. If a Christian continues in the Word, memorizes Scripture, faithfully worships and draws closer to Christ, our old habits begin to die. We feed what we want to grow. If we desire Christ-like character, then we will feed that seed. If we desire to hold onto the past, then we will feed that bitter root. God gives individuals a choice.
Walking through the gorge, after accepting Christ as Savior, we may find ourselves climbing over some steep cliffs, small plateaus, and difficult passages. These are Christians walking through a process of letting go of their past and pressing onto their future in Christ Jesus, “Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christ like] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that perfection for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have been made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the heavenly prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ. All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude” (Philippians 3:12-15).
Our new identity is to be rooted in Christ. Our new thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and mindsets should mimic Christ’s as His followers. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truths through the example of Jesus. The Holy Spirit cleanses our conscious and fills our spirits with godly desires. The Holy Spirit will remind you of Christ’s Words when a difficult situation arises. The Spirit will always glorify Jesus of Nazareth and develop Christ like character. This character includes letting go of your past and pressing on to a new identity, a new creation, in faith.
My prayer is the chapter has planted a seed; a good seed that will begin to sprout and take root in Christ as its foundation. This seed will grow with new buds and blooms of hope and change. The Lord will draw you closer to Him in a courtship, if you will. This closeness will reveal anything in your heart that needs healing, forgiveness, and wrong thinking. If you allow Him, our Lord will change you from the inside out. You will truly be this new creation in Christ, a new identity that rests on Him.
I pray you are pressing towards a goal and God is opening your heart to His plan and purpose for you. I pray you are seeking new thoughts, new attitudes, and new mindsets reflecting Christ like behavior, while God is unveiling your unique, individual, and creative qualities for His kingdom. I pray you move in sync with the Holy Spirit as you grow and mature in your walk with Christ.