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Overcoming Anxiety Concerning Who We Are

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
When we compare ourselves with others, we take our focus off of God and place it onto other people. - The sin of comparison is one of the major causes of worry and fear in a believer’s life. We know that God works in the lives of His children in many various ways. Yet, we sometimes look around us enviously, as we watch God’s hand of blessing in other people’s live. In this series on self-identity, Dr. Dunlap reminds us that we should be grateful for the differences that exist among our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ—not threatened by them.

The writer of Psalm 139:16 eloquently states, “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” The Lord designed each one of us and He prescribed all of our days before we were born.

God will be faithful to complete the good work that He began in us.

God begins the process of developing the character of Jesus Christ within us at the moment of our salvation. He faithfully continues that process throughout every spiritual pilgrimage until the day that we die. Paul assures us in Philippians 1:6,

Being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

When we compare ourselves with others, we shift our focus off of God and onto people.

The sin of comparison is one of the major causes of worry and fear in our lives. We know that God works in the lives of His children in various and unique ways. Yet, we often look around us enviously, as we watch God’s hand of blessing in other people’s lives. When we do this, we take our focus off of God and we begin to compare ourselves with other people.

We are guilty of the sin of comparison when we feel inadequate in the presence of people who appear to be more competent or attractive or even more intelligent than we are.


We find this stern warning in 2 Corinthians 10:12, “We do not dare to classify ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”

When we seek God first He causes everything else to fall into its rightful place.

God has an inward ideal for every Christian—the character of His Son Jesus Christ. He may withhold from us a stable family, outward beauty, natural talents, or particular abilities in order to develop certain inward qualities in our lives. We read in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

Our self-identity, happiness, peace, joy and contentment grow out of our willingness to experience God’s inward ideal for our lives. Jesus promises us in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek His kingdom and His righteousness first and foremost, He will add to our lives everything else that is important.


We should be thankful for the differences among Christians, not threatened by them.

God forms Christ-like character within us when we respond properly to life’s problems. We experience fulfillment in life, as we become a unique message of His character. God instructs us to be living epistles of His love, known and read by all men.

We should not be threatened by the differences that exist among Christians. We should, instead, thank God for the differences that we observe in appearance, abilities, parentage and social heritage. They are God’s way of emphasizing and amplifying His unique message through each of our lives.

The degree to which we accept God’s design for our lives determines the effectiveness of our Christian testimonies. We must learn how to respond correctly to our God-given limitations.

We should seek to discern the benefits that we have reaped from any difficulties that we have gone through physically, emotionally, socially or mentally.

When we attach new meanings to old “defects,” we realize that they are marks of God’s ownership, which constantly remind us that we belong to Him. God has bought us with a price and we should joyfully glorify Him in all that we do.


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