Bible studies, identity

More Beauty, Less Mess: An excerpt from Wholly Loved’s Reading Plan

More Beauty Less Mess

An excerpt from More Beauty, Less Mess, A Mother-Daughter Reading Plan

I’m Not What I Do

By Kimi Miller

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Suggested Supplemental Reading: Romans 8:1-17

I knew the minute she got in the car it was a bad day. “Everything alright?” I asked.


“Did something happen at school?”

More silence.

“Do you want to get ice cream?”

She looked at me. Finally. Even if it was just a look, it was a response. She nodded her head.

Over a hot fudge sundae my step-daughter unpacked the events of her day. Through shallow sobs and rolling tears I learned about her failed biology test and rejection from the show choir team. “Why am I such a loser? I can’t do anything right,” she cried. “I’m sure everyone hates me.”

My heart ached for her. I’d been there a hundred times myself – affixing labels like nametags, marking my identity with my failures and achievements. I hated that she felt this same pressure.  This pressure to perform in order to measure up – to do more, to be more. I didn’t want her carrying that. I wanted her to know her value didn’t come from what she did, has done, or failed to do. I wanted her to know and embrace the identity Jesus secured for her through His finished work on the cross. And I wanted this for myself, too.

Our Heavenly Father’s heart aches for us when we place our identity in anything other than Jesus, just as mine ached for my daughter. He doesn’t want us to carry any burden that tries to undo what Jesus did. God’s desire is for us to walk confidently in Him. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that God loves us just as we are, especially when we feel like failures. But embracing this truth rips off our superficial labels and marks us as His! We are children of God, daughters of the King, and He wants us to live accordingly.

When you feel like you’re not enough, like you’ve failed again, or you need to do more, turn instead to Jesus. Get quiet before the Lord and allow Him to whisper to your soul there’s nothing more for you to do, “It is finished.” There’s no need to perform anymore. The work has been done. And You are His, and He is yours.

Was there a time when your identity was wrapped up in what you did (or didn’t do)? Is it challenging to find your identity in Jesus? What could you do to help one another remember your identity is found in Jesus and not in your accomplishments or failures?

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