“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions and condemnations.”

-- Henri Nouwen, author, professor, priest


Have you ever given thought to how you define yourself? Your definition matters because it affects your sense of self-worth.

Some of us define ourselves by what we do. When we are successfully doing the things we do in life, we feel effective and worthy. But when we start to fail, insecurity creeps in.

Some of us define ourselves by what others say about us. When people speak highly of us, we feel great. But we are apt to get upset and defensive when people criticize and judge us.

Finally, many of us define ourselves by what we have, which leads us to fall apart when we lose whatever it is we think is so critical to who we are.

The problem with all these identities is that they eventually lead to self-rejection. To avoid self-rejection, identify yourself first and foremost as a son or daughter of God. This definition inspires you to figure out who God intends you to become, which in turn leads to the kind of fulfillment that no job, possession or other person can give you.