Updated: Apr 9, 2019
"A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”" - Luke 7:37-39
This account of scripture is one that I find so intriguing each time I read it. This said woman, though mentioned briefly, her story depicts quite well what being assured of our new identity in Christ looks like. A lady well known by the people of the town and referred to as a sinner, and whilst we are not told the nature of her sin, most conclude she was a prostitute. She was labelled as a certain "kind of woman" by people and treated rightly so. And though people had much to say about her, Jesus saw someone who understood how much they had been forgiven. In fact I think we can learn so much from this one act of worship by this "harlot"
As highlighted by Jesus, she loved him with an understanding of how much she had been forgiven. Whilst the possibility remained of people judging, or perceiving her actions wrongly, she wasn't stayed on their opinion. She deemed God's love and forgiveness more worthy of her focus, hereby pouring out an heartfelt, accepted worship offering in appreciation. Humans are prone to often judge or perceive our actions a certain way, sometimes completely wrong as we can see in this scripture. Opinions stem from so many factors, ranging from personal experience to what they may have heard about you. Bottom line is that man's perspective is limited and can be outright fickle; it only takes another story before people start seeing you in a different light.
Therefore, allowing what men think to determine who we believe we are is like allowing a blind man lead you when God's Word is readily available to serve this purpose. It's good to have feedback on our character, that has it's place and affirmative words are great! But they are just to affirm and do not replace obtaining worth and true identity. She could have easily taken their opinion as her identity, but rather she chose to believe The One who knew her beyond her actions and thought she was worth His attention.
"It's good to have feedback on our character, that has it's place and affirmative words are great! But they are just to affirm and do not replace obtaining worth and true identity."
There's a focus required in understanding and walking in true identity. We're human, prone to mistakes and sin but need to keep in mind that our mistakes do not define who we are; rather what God's Word declares. What you keep in mind is what you will continually manifest. From personal experience, it takes continuous focus on who God says we are to actually overcome a sin, habit or mindset that does not align with God's Word. David said "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:11) and truly, I believe that to be real so far in my own life. As we think in our hearts, so are we in this world. This woman knew the depth of her sin but still allowed herself see the magnitude of God's Love which was way bigger than her failings. Her focus on His love and mercy propelled her into worship as a response to the value and worth bestowed on her. She gave her all even before those who despised her, no longer ashamed but boldly and openly embracing a love that could not be quenched even by their ghastly expressions at her nerve whilst they were trying to have a meal.
"It takes continuous focus on who God says we are to actually overcome a sin, habit or mindset that does not align with God's Word."
Practical Point :Do some research and find a scripture that directly applies to what you are struggling with; sin, habit or anything hindering you from walking in your true identity. Try to memorise it, or keep it with you (on your phone for example). And declare it continuously (as often as you need to), to remind yourself that you are not defined by anything but God's Word.