Have you heard Christians say, "I'm just a sinner saved by Grace."? This statement sounds spiritual and filled with humility. But how does this one sound? "I'm just a loser."
Brenda & I recently had a long discussion with Rob & Elan about the power the subconscious to form our identity. The subconscious controls more than 80% of our thoughts and actions. In a fight, the conscious mind will lose out to the subconscious every time. What I've learned is that my subconscious shapes much of what I believe about my identity.
God has straightened out my beliefs about my identity in Him. I used to buy into the whole "I'm a sinner" rubbish until He showed me the scriptures describing just who I am since I've been reborn. "I'm no longer a slave to sin because my old self was crucified with Christ so that my body of sin might be done away with" (Rom. 6). My identity in Him is as saint, a saint that sometimes sins. When I sin it doesn't make me a "sinner". And if I walk around with the mistaken attitude that "I'm just a sinner saved by grace", that belief makes it more likely that I will fall into sin because my subconscious believes that is my nature.
I recently discovered in my subconscious a belief that I can't be a winner. I've justified it to myself by saying that I'm just not competitive. I enjoy the process more than the outcome. This belief was harmless enough when I played ping-pong with Don Brent and every game was a deuce I ended up losing. I was good enough to stay close, but not to win. But I'm finding this loser mentality creeping into other areas of my life, and it isn't just innocuous any more.
I'm working to convince my subconscious that I'm a winner who sometimes loses. If I lose it's not because it's my nature. The good thing I've discovered is that my subconscious is pretty gullible. This truth is a mixed blessing. It can be convinced of almost anything and doesn't know if something may be impossible. On the other hand, once it believes something is impossible it has the power to make it so.
I believe that this process I'm going through is what the Bible means when it says to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" and that our goal is "the salvation of our souls". What the world calls the "subconscious" is a part of what the Bible refers to as our soul. What I'm learning is that the work the Holy Spirit does in us is to get the life that is the Spirit of Christ worked into our soul (subconscious) so that we become like Christ. That is my identity. That is my destiny.