by Brittany Maher and Cassandra Speer
Looking back, we can clearly see how the lies we believed led us to place our worth in our appearance, define ourselves by our career
You might be asking,
How do I know whether I’ve developed a counterfeit identity?
To help answer that question, let’s identify the worldly tools we tend to use to measure our worth:
• How people perceive you
• Material things
• Likes on social media
• Being desired
The list goes on and on.
It’s true that we can get quick identity boosters from the world. Sure, they make us feel good for a little while. They’re like a credit card with a high interest rate: they require minimal investment on the front end, but over time the charges add up and the interest on the balance continues to increase. If we live life attaching our identities to these cheap counterfeits, when the bill comes due, we’ll never have enough to pay. But the Enemy doesn’t want us to know this truth. If he can keep us chasing after the world’s measures of worth and value, we’ll never truly be free. Thankfully, our true worth and value is found in Christ, and through him our debt is paid in full.
To see if you’ve misplaced your
If God were to take away this thing I identify with tomorrow, how would it affect me? Would I be okay?
If the answer to this question is no, you’ve allowed that measurement of worth to become an idol in your life and it’s a counterfeit identity you need to shed.
So, if we are giving our worship to things like success or relationships, the moment we don’t have those things we go through an identity crisis. When you use the world’s tools to assess your worth, your measurements will always be off. Just as you can’t measure something with a hammer or pound nails with a measuring tape, you can’t use worldly tools to measure your value and worth. You were never meant to use those tools.
The cross is the ultimate measure of your worth and value. Jesus is the only measuring tool that matters. When you grasp that truth, that’s when you will feel complete in who you are. We must replace lies with the truth of God’s Word.
We’re the first to admit, counterfeits are appealing. Who doesn’t like the way it feels to have what the world considers success and happiness? The trouble with this concept is that the world and the Word are often at odds with each other.
Wait, wait, wait.
Are we saying that worldly success is evil?
No, of course not. But we are saying that striving to achieve what the world considers success is a fruitless ambition. Have that side hustle, but have it in a healthy way.
Sometimes when we take on a counterfeit identity, it’s not always as apparent as we think. That’s why it’s so important to saturate ourselves in the Word of God—so we can use his Word to measure our hearts and see where we need his transforming love to come and clean house.
Having all the things, having the best body, the best car, the best house, the best clothes – none of it can compare to the true freedom found in Christ. It’s an endless pursuit to try and find validation in anything but Christ. It’s like having a bowl of fake fruit on your table. When you have guests come in, they see the shiny fruit, but it’s only to see, not to consume. Artificial fruit looks good enough to eat but it’s plastic to the core. You can’t offer any real sustenance with the fake fruit.
Speaking of fruit, we love what Jesus taught about how to distinguish the real thing from the counterfeit.
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:15–20)
Jesus’ point is that not everything is as it seems. To distinguish the sheep from the wolves in our lives, we need to look beyond appearances to the fruit—to what is produced. Although we may not routinely need to distinguish between true and false prophets in our everyday lives, we do need to distinguish between the true and false messages we consume—especially when those messages influence our identity.
We need to ask questions like these:
• Who am I listening to?
• What do they value?
• What are they teaching me?
• What is the fruit of their life or message?
• Is this person or message creating good fruit or bad fruit in my life?
These are important questions to consider when examining the voices you allow to speak into your life. False messages are everywhere, and they sow seeds of discontentment and discord wherever they go.
Consuming fake fruit will always leave us starving for real sustenance. Our experiences and feelings are not our identity. Why do we let someone or something other than Jesus determine who we are?
Let’s not allow the lies of the enemy and the messages of a misguided culture carry more weight than what God has said about our identity, value, and purpose.
Refuse the plastic, shiny fruit, and pursue Jesus.
Refuse the counterfeits, sister.
Excerpt from “Her True Worth” used with permission.
Brittany Maher is compelled by love to empower women to simplify their identity based on one thing alone: Jesus. She is the founder of Her True Worth, a large and growing online community designed to liberate an entire generation of faith- filled women with the freedom found in discovering their true worth in Christ. She is also an evangelist with a burning heart for the broken and the lost. She and her husband, Ryan, invest most of their time in equipping and empowering God’s people for digital evangelism across the globe. They believe in the importance of using every tool they can to help bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Brittany is planted in Michigan with her husband, Ryan, and their daughter, Ariana.
Casandra Speer is a popular Christian blogger whose heart is driven by the desire to see women discover the depth of God’s love in a superficial world through the power of His Word. She is vice president of Her True Worth, a ministry created to encourage wounded and wandering women to find their identity and validation in Christ alone. Cassandra is passionate about sharing her faith and tackling the raw and messy moments of life with a little bit of humor—and a whole lot of Jesus! She is also the proud wife of an Air Force veteran. Cassandra and her husband are planted in Oklahoma City, where they live with their three children.
You can find our interview with Brittany and Cassandra, entitled Walking in Your True Worth, on our podcast page or by clicking here.
Check out their new book, Her True Worth, on Amazon.