On the way to a crazy 50 mile bike ride with my husband I text back and forth with my wonderful friend. Our conversation sounds kinda like this:
Me: Why am I doing this?
Friend: I have no idea.
Me: Because I like a challenge? Because my hubby wants me to? Because there will be free snacks along the route?
I can’t put my finger on the motivation.
I turn from texting to the screen of my Kindle. These words from Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard jump off the page at me…
“We essentially ask ourselves three questions when we have a decision to make:
Who am I?
What kind of situation is this?
What would someone like me do in this situation?”
–Chip and Dan Heath
We think we make decisions based on facts and rational thinking. It turns out a lot of times our decisions are based on our identities–both who we believe we are now and who we aspire to be in the future.
I was doing that 50 mile bike ride because I wanted to be the kind of wife who does stuff like that with her husband.
That identity push was powerful enough to get me up at the crack of dawn and take me through 50 miles of riding.
Why does understanding this matter?
Because it means if our identity is based on untruth then we will make decisions that are out of line with God’s best for us.
If I believe I’m someone with nothing to offer then I’ll hold back.
If I believe my life doesn’t have a purpose then I’ll be more likely to live without intention.
If I believe God should have made me different than I will be hesitant to use the strengths and gifts He’s placed within me.
On the other hand…
If I believe I’m who God has created me to be and He’s given me what I need to accomplish all He’s called me to do then I will make decisions that move me forward in His purpose for my life.
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Heb. 12:1-2
What hinders us? Often it’s what we believe about who we are.
Do we all struggle with this? Of course.
And we will until the day we’re home in heaven forever.
But we can stand at the starting line of a new day together and say, “This is who God says I am. And because of that, I will be different today.”
Let’s persevere in our race, friend.
Are you ready to move forward together?