Cinderella & Identity

My husband and I had the pleasure of going to see the latest live-action version of Cinderella this evening. I wasn’t too excited about seeing the film, but I’m a sucker for movie theatre popcorn. Put a bucket of its buttery, crunchy goodness in my lap and I’ll sit through almost anything.

I am happy that I went to see this movie, though. It is a lovely rendering of the story and the costumes were breathtaking. Elsa’s dresses will surely be on their way out in favor of the incredible ball gown Cinderella wore. Heck, I want that dress! But what haunted me as I walked out of the theatre were the words,

“Remember who you are.”

Cinderella reminds me that those words can have a very different meaning coming from different sources. From someone who loves you, those words encourage, embolden, and speak life to the recipient. Cinderella’s parents recognized her as special, kind, and courageous. Their words made her bloom into a lovely young woman.

From someone who hates you, those words demean, ensnare, and bring brokenness. Cinderella’s stepmother was jealous of the young woman, so words sought to wither Cinderella until she was nothing but ash.

Every day, we face the same kind of disagreeing messages. The Bible uses many words to describe those who follow Jesus. Overcomer. Co-heir. Gifted by the Holy Spirit. New creation. Forgiven. Saint. Child of God. As we learn the weight of and accept those names that God the Father gives us through Jesus, we changed. We grow more confident in our identity in Christ. You might even say that we blossom.

But there’s still the other voice. The one that says, “Are you sure that’s what He said about you?” Our enemy gives us other names. Failure. Insignificant. A hack. Runner-up. Overlooked. Too much and not enough. When we dwell on those names, we stay exactly where we are, resigned to our lowly fate. We wither.

Which voice will I listen to? The enemy is louder and more insistent. The false beliefs I carry about myself are louder and more insistent. But countless hours of reality TV have taught me that loud and insistent doesn’t mean correct.

One more name the Bible gives to Christ followers is “God’s handiwork”. The one who made us and is remaking us gets the final say in who we actually are. His voice, though often masked by others’, is true.

My prayer is that we’d listen to the words that bring life and hope.

Remember who you are.

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