Will the Real You Standup?

There is an old saying, “The real you is who you are when you are alone and no one else is around.”

If this saying has merit, and I believe it does, then when no one is around, who are you? Does your public persona match who your are when no one else is around? Are you as sensitive toward spiritual matters in private as you appear to be in public?

I think that is one of the challenges of living the Christian life, that we are as consistent in our private life as we appear to be in our public life. We certainly don’t want to be known as “ who you are speaks so loud that I can’t hear what you are saying,”

Jesus addressed this issue in His sermon on the mount. In Matthew 6 He speaks about man’s tendency to “showboat” when it comes to good deeds. He said, “Don’t do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others…don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (Matthew 6:1,3 NLT)

Further on in that same chapter, Jesus addresses the issue of prayer. He said don’t pray in public so that you can be seen, but pray in private. He said,“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly…I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get…but when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NLT)

Jesus’ implication throughout this passage is authentic faith. It involves being consistent outwardly with who you are in private. They should be the same person. This kind of life yields transparency, authenticity and consistency. It’s at this point that our life becomes salt and light. Those we encounter will see real faith in action and it will draw them to Jesus.

Bottom Line
How do we make sure that who we are in private is who we want to be in public?

1. Live out of your identity in Christ. We have been given the life of Christ within us, so walk in that identity. (Romans 6)

2. Endeavor to practice humility. Humility is not a spiritual gift, but occurs as we surrender more of out life to Christ’s control. (John 15:5)

3. Practice surrendering your rights and expectations of others so that you can love and serve them without expecting something in return.

4. Practice trusting God daily and having a thankful heart. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

5. Make regular prayer a priority. A personal private prayer life is usually an indication of the depth of spirituality and the degree of trust in God. It’s not how long you pray, but prayer is the communication gateway to fellowship with your Heavenly Father. (Philippians 4:6-7 )

The end result will be “who you are in private will be who you become in public – a humble, authentic follower of Jesus.”

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less, and others more.

How Do You Feel About Yourself?

Many of us have been taught that “to love yourself” is to be self-centered and egotistic. In a way, there is some truth to that idea. When you think only of yourself it leads to an unhealthy, unbalanced life. As followers of Christ our goal is to be God-centered, being careful to put Him first so that everything else will fall into its proper place.

However, in trying to keep that balance sometimes we miss the importance of having a healthy self-worth. Many believers have developed a resistance to anything that hints that we should love ourselves. Maybe it’s because of all the TV talk shows that champion the idea that we should do what is best for us, even if it means aborting our unborn child or leaving our spouse for someone else? Or maybe it comes from our religious upbringing that taught us that we are always just ole sinners, and that’s all we will ever be. But having a proper concept of self-worth is important for several reasons.

1. We are made in the image of God – The Scripture proclaims that man is made in the image of God. Once we are placed into Christ we are declared a saint, holy, righteous, citizen of Heaven, more than conquerors, delivered from darkness, joint heirs with Christ, and seated in heavenly places. (1 Cor. 1:2, 1:30; Ephesians 2:5, 2:10)

2. We are a conduit of Christ’s love to others – God could have the trees and the rocks to declare His glory, but He chooses to use us. His life flows through us in order to reveal Christ to a lost and hurting world. When we have the attitude that we are failures, incapable, inadequate and unworthy that attitude is transferable to those we encounter. How can we portray the victorious Christ to others when we are displaying defeat, and dejection? Our attitude tells our story before we open our mouth.

3. The Spirit of God tends to flow freely through those who are at peace with who they are. I am reminded of saying I heard when I was a kid, “If you are happy notify your face.” Who wants to open themselves to receive truth from someone who doesn’t even love themselves? (Ephesians 4:17-27)

4. Loving ourselves is a key element in abandonment and surrender. When we realize that God accepts and loves us just as we are, this helps us to realize our need to abandon and surrender our lives to God. When we understand that the God of the universe loves us and that in Christ we have worth and value to God, then we are compelled to give our lives to Him.

5. God desires for us to live in the context of what He has done in our lives, not in the context of what we were before He saved us. One of the most defeating concepts of the Christian life is that we are “just ole sinners saved by grace.” Yes, our nature before salvation was a sinner without hope, but since salvation we have a new nature. We are now “a saint who sometimes sins.” (Romans 8:1-7) Do you see the difference? One is a mentality of a sinner; the other is a mentality of a saint. Since we have been set free from the dominion of sin, the joy of the Lord is now our strength. We no longer perform in order to be accepted by God. We are accepted by God simply because we are in Christ.

Bottom Line
God wired us to need Him. As we surrender and abandon our lives to Him, He gives us all we need to have a healthy self-worth. That worth is not dependent on measuring up to some unreasonable standard of behavior. But our worth is based upon our identity in Christ. In Christ we are made complete (Colossians 2:10). Then we can effectively express His love to others. When we exhibit a Christ centered love for ourselves, we will be a conduit of God’s love to everyone we encounter.



I once spoke in a church on the subject of Self-Condemnation.  Before I spoke, I asked the congregation if anyone had experienced self-condemnation the preceding week. Most all raised their hand and admitted that they were in some way involved in self-condemnation. One lady even acknowledged that she was struggling with condemnation that very day.
Do you struggle with condemnation?  Are you frequently beating up on yourself, thinking you are not good enough, holy enough and worthless?  Have you been told or made to believe that you are not important? Do you have a sense of being useless or unimportant? When we choose to believe those false messages we set ourselves up for a sense of condemnation.
When I speak of condemnation, I am not referring to a sense of guilt or conviction because of unconfessed sin. Holy Spirit conviction is a good thing; it drives us to repentance and restoration of broken fellowship with our Father. 
Condemnation is defined as “the act of giving disapproval; to judge yourself unfit for use or service.”  It is a by-product of our flesh and it never comes from God.
Condemnation is one of the devil’s most effective tactics. He capitalizes on our emotional weakness and insecurity, then using little effort, he pushes us toward condemnation.  Actually, we do most of the work for him – all he does is gives us a little nudge.
Condemnation is a by-product of the law of sin and death
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:1; “That there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”   When someone becomes a follower of Jesus he is no longer under the sentence of condemnation.  Matter of fact, in the next verse Paul even indicates that condemnation is a by-product of the law of sin and death.  In other words, there is never any room for condemnation in a believer’s life or vocabulary.  When the law of sin and death was conquered at the cross, it was replaced by “the law of life in Christ Jesus.”  To accept and even verbalize self-condemnation is to acknowledge that Jesus’ death and resurrection has no supernatural power, and leaves us without hope of victory.
The truth is, because of the resurrection, we have received a power that trumps the power of sin and death and all its by-products, such as condemnation.  Our identity is no longer tied to our performance. We are no longer a sum total of our failures but we are now an expression of the living, victorious Christ within.   His life is now our life. What defines us is Christ’s life within which is characterized as holy, righteous and victorious.  We are all these things regardless of how we perform or how we appear in other’s eyes.  That’s because our identity is not tied to our performance or emotions but to who we are in Christ.  It is important to remember;
“We are who we are by birth (spiritual birth in Christ), not by our performance.” 
That’s the reason we don’t live in the past. We can’t change or fix the past, we can only live in the now, one day at a time, trusting the living Christ within us for today. If you fixate on the past, you can never provide hope for the future. The past and all its baggage becomes your life. You are bound to repeat the past over and over again.
What’s the key to dealing with condemnation?  (1) Acknowledge that your thoughts of condemnation are sin.  Until you acknowledge that this pattern of thinking is sin, condemnation will dominate your life. Repentance of wrong thinking is just as important as repentance of wrong deeds. (2) Stop believing the lie.  Since condemnation never comes from God then its source is not trustworthy and is built on deception and lies. Condemnation is not the real you. (3) You must affirm the positive. That means practice the positive affirmation of your identity in Christ. Just as you rehearsed thoughts of condemnation, now rehearse thoughts of your identity in Christ. The power lies in verbally acknowledging the truth about who you are in Christ.  Because you act out what you think, you must practice setting your mind on truth. Why is that important? It’s because the truth is what sets you free! Setting your mind on God’s truth is a supernatural action that heals the mind of constant condemning thoughts.
You now have a choice
Picture it this way.  In the left hand you have condemnation and all its baggage.  In the right hand you have the truth of your identity. Which will you chose to believe? The left hand that promises nothing but misery and destruction, plus new negative emotions that will soon be piled on top of what is already there?  
Or will you choose the right hand which offers truth, victory and rest? This is a belief system and lifestyle that was designed and given by God himself as a gift to you.  By applying the truth of your identity you can now experience the release of “trying to measure up” to unreasonable expectations and constant thoughts of condemnation. 
God does not dwell in the land of condemnation.  He dwells in the land of rest for the weary. The more you entertain the condemnation cycle the more it will dominate your life.  Instead, enter the “rest cycle”.  There is a rest for the people of God and we enter that rest when we make a decision with our will to lay all our anxiety, all our condemnation, and all of our fear at the foot of the Cross.  Those things you bring to the cross are put to death. After you bring it to the cross then choose to believe what He says about you.  You see – it’s really about allowing the living Christ in you to be basis of your identity.(Colossians 2:10)
That reminds me of the lyrics from a song sung by Christian artist Larnelle Harris;
“It’s not in trying but in trusting
It’s not in running but in resting,
Not in wondering but in praying,
That we find the strength of the Lord.
Because of Christ,