By Bill Behr

We all have developed beliefs about ourselves. Those beliefs have been shaped by our experiences, the happy and sad events in our lives, what we have heard others say (whether true or false) and what we have learned.

We ultimately decide which beliefs to adopt as part of our identity (whether good or bad), and they do affect how we relate to others (good and bad).

Many of my beliefs are healthy, true and part of my identity, such as, “I am made in the image of God my Father” and “God loves me dearly.”  But like all of us, I have also grown up with false beliefs about myself, many of them starting in my childhood.

These false beliefs also became part of my identity.

One of the false beliefs (lies) I discovered about myself originated when I was about 7 years old.  I was a bright-redhaired, highly freckle-faced, pale-white kid.  I stood out among other kids, but did not realize how much until the first grade, when some of my classmates started teasing me daily about how I looked.

I slowly became convinced I was not acceptable, and I was to embarrass to talk to anyone about it.   I tried to fix this lie by becoming a people-pleaser to validate my worth. I eventually shed this false belief with the help of family, friends and counseling. Most important, I came to realize my true identity is in Christ.  I understand now how Christ views me and His purpose for my life (for the lives of all of us).

I have learned a lot about my identity in Christ through reGROUP at Summit Church.

reGROUP is a Christian program that has been designed for anyone with hurts, habits and hang-ups (those cover the bases of all of us).   reGROUP teaches that I need to surrender, and to trust and believe in Jesus Christ, and then join Him in healing the hurt and restoring the loss in my life.

I need to surrender to the fact that I need the help of God and my Christian community to do this.

But I have to want this change.  Do I really want to experience a life of freedom and break away from my false beliefs?   Yes I really do!   So how do I do this?  I need to:

  • Sincerely want to surrender burdens and change (repent).
  • Honestly trust in the amazing unconditional love of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to change me.

When I do these things, God starts to call me to enter into a community of people that is willing to care about me, so I can share my struggles with them.  In community, we equally give (share) and receive (listen), and we agree as a community to surrender our lives and depend on God for our restoration.

I am part of a team from Summit Church that leads reGROUP in the 33rd Street Jail on Tuesday nights.  We have listened to the inmates’ personal struggles and also shared with them our own struggles.   We are building a level of trust and forming new relationships, in community, to learn together about the truth of Christ’s love for each of us.

This is where Dignified Interdependence begins, with a small community of you, God, and me as we lean in care for one another. This is where forgiveness, kindness, patience, accountability, God’s grace, repentant joy and sacrificial love all begin occur and our needs are met (Phil. 4:19).

When we all “surrender me” (ourselves) to God, He accepts us where we are and starts healing us.  We start to experience sincere change and become a new creation – the “old me” diminishes and the new (real) “me in Christ” is discovered

(2 Cor. 5:17)!

Praise you Lord for revealing the truth to us all!

Bill Behr

Bill Behr

Bill Behr is the Associate Campus Minister of Summit @ 33rd St. and can be reached at bbehr@summitconnect.org.

Consider signing up for Dignity Serves, a six-week course that helps you rethink the way we serve others in our community. It teaches you to see problems differently and respond in a way that empowers those you serve rather than just meeting their immediate needs.