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Who or What Defines You?
By Joel Osteen - Aug 11, 2023

We all face situations that contradict who God made us to be. We know God calls us a masterpiece, valuable, fearfully and wonderfully made, but sometimes our circumstances say just the opposite. It’s easy to let our environment change our identity. When we go through unfair situations and disappointments, when people walk away, we can lose who we are. We let those circumstances change how we see ourselves. We feel inferior, not attractive, not good enough. We’re adapting to the environment. Here’s the key: Your environment doesn’t change who God created you to be. God says, “You’re blessed, favored, healthy, and free.” Everything around you may say just the opposite, but this is what faith is all about. You have to dig down deep and say, “My environment will not define me. I am who God says I am.”

When Joseph was seventeen years old, God gave him a dream that he’d be in leadership and do great things. But that made his brothers so angry that they threw him into a pit to die but then sold him into slavery in Egypt. He was enslaved to a military officer, then falsely accused of a crime and put into prison. Here he had this prophecy spoken over his life, but the environment—imprisoned in a foreign land—was the opposite of what God promised him. He could have been bitter and seen himself as a victim, but he kept being his best and doing what was right. He didn’t let the environment change his identity. He kept seeing himself as who God said he would be: a leader, a difference maker.

After thirteen years, when Pharaoh was told that Joseph could interpret a dream he didn’t understand, the Scripture says Joseph was brought quickly to the palace. God knows how to suddenly turn things around. Joseph interpreted the dream and so impressed Pharaoh that he said, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:41). He became the prince of Egypt. Here’s my point: By his attitude, Joseph kept saying, “No, the pit can’t change who I am. I’m a prince in the pit. Slavery doesn’t lessen my value. I’m a prince as a slave, and a prince in the prison. My circumstances don’t determine my identity. My God determines my identity. I am who God says I am.”

Have you let negative circumstances change your identity? Shake off all those lies, break all those strongholds, and start seeing yourself as God sees you. You’re a prince, you’re a history maker, you’re a barrier breaker, you are successful, you are talented, and you are valuable. The dream God put in your heart is still on the way. You’re still going to become who God created to be.

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