How often do you think about your spiritual identity?
It’s one thing to identify yourself based on what you see in the mirror or how much money you have in the bank, and lots of other such things. But your spiritual identity as a child of God is who you really are as the image and likeness of God.
This week I talk with Jared Capello, a life coach and fulfillment strategist. He helps people discover their spiritual identity and their relationship with God. This opens up unlimited possibilities for a productive life of joy and love.
Here’s a transcript of this episode..
One of Jared’s guiding thoughts is: Be the love you are.
This is what inspires him to help people find lasting change in their lives.
Your spiritual identity is from God
Jared feels strongly that God has given you your identity and nothing can take it away because you have been accepted by God. Your identity is not wrapped up in what other people think about you.
When you know who you are as a child of God, nothing can distract you from operating in the awareness of who you are.
I asked: How do we get rid of our limiting beliefs of who we are?
Here’s Jared’s go to Bible verse. It reminds us to focus on how God sees us, not how we see ourselves.
Live overwhelmed by God’s opinion of you Philippians 4:8 Mirror translation
When Jared helps others, he always starts by seeing people the way God sees them, as a child of God. Nothing can ever change that and then he helps them see and believe it about themselves.
One of his favorite quotes is:
“Man fully alive is God glorified.” St. Irenaeus
Discovering your heart’s desires
Jared helps people find the deep desires in their heart and realize that God has put them there. God has good in store for them. The secret in life is discovering the truth of who we are and then pursuing the things God has designed us to do and be.
He mentions the example of Eric Little in the movie Chariots of Fire when his sister is afraid he’s forgetting his purpose of missionary work in China. But Eric reminds his sister he has not forgotten his higher purpose, but he adds, “But God made me fast.” When he ran he felt God’s pleasure.
Jared helps people connect with their higher purpose as well as all the daily things that please God.
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. Jeremiah 32:40 NLT
How to discover your spiritual identity
I asked Jared how he got started helping people discover their spiritual identity as a child of God.
Jared shared how he had been raised in a cult. When he was 21, this cult split for the third time and he realized his identity had been wrapped up in this organization.
After he left the cult, he was at a church conference and heard a life changing idea: “The spirit of fear always controls. Whereas the spirit of love always empowers.” This turned on a light for him to see how he had been used and manipulated with fear by the cult.
One of his biggest takeaways was that he told God, “I don’t want to put You in a box anymore.”
Through a series of events, trips to Europe, and people he met, he heard about the idea of being a life coach. He decided to find out more and eventually got his certification. He likes the coaching because it helps him empower people to become who they really are. He’s been a life coach for the last 13 years.
Letting go of a religious view of God
In working with clients, he sometimes has to get people to let go of a hyper-religious idea of who God is, which means a formalized concept of a God who has long lists of dos and don’ts.
Instead he helps people discover their relationship with God and feel the gentleness and tenderness of God’s love. It’s about feeling God’s unconditional love for them, which is not based on whether they do every little thing right in their lives.
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1 NKJV
Your gentleness has made me great. Psalm 18:35 NKJV
He helps them get past the belief that there is inherently wrong with them.
Helping others find their spiritual identity
Jared shared an example of one of his clients, a single mom, who was struggling with her identity. He shared this verse with her:
By the still waters of reflection, my soul remembers who I am. Psalm 23:3 Mirror translation
This particular client had a lot of drama and trauma into her life. But he kept seeing her as a truly loved child of God. She started to see herself that way. She realized God was for her and that she was a daughter of God.
Once she found her own relationship with God and with herself, she unexpectedly met the man of her dreams, whom she is now engaged to.
She was healed of a victim mentality and found spiritual freedom.
Jared points out that you can’t find a sense of completeness in another person. You have to find your completeness in God.
God’s love is the basis of spiritual identity
The Bible says,
God is love. 1 John 4:8 KJV
I asked: Why then, do people think God is going to be angry with them? Why are people afraid of God? Why do churches use fear to control people?
Jared explained that a lot of people have an Old Testament view of God, full of wrath, judgement, and destruction. Even Jesus’s disciples sometimes expressed this view of God.
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. Luke 9:51-56 KJV
Our views of God
But Jesus shows us a different view of God by living out God’s nature in his own life. We get a very clear picture of what God is like by seeing how Jesus lived and treated people. He said,
he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; John 14:9 KJV
We need to get over these limited views of God. If you’re in a church that just treats you as a cog in the machinery, there’s probably not a very clear sense of God’s unconditional love.
“Religion is the best thing in the world, and it can also be the worst thing in the world.” Richard Rohr
Finding spiritual identity at church
Sometimes the church is the best gateway to get to know God in a deep relationship, but then sometimes churches are afraid to give people that much freedom. But a spiritually minded church will help people find the freedom to have a relationship with God.
When fear governs a church, they tend to rule by control.
I asked: What if you find yourself in a church that’s ruled by fear and manipulation?
First, know that you can find a way out and learn to think for yourself. When you’re totally honest with yourself, you’ll know if something is wrong and God will open the door for you to find the right path to take.
Watch out for a church that tries to do all your thinking for you. There are lots of healthy churches, find one of those to be part of.
Pray to know God better.
Experiencing God’s presence
Jared shared a couple of experiences when he felt God’s presence as a teenager. He was alone in his room, weeping with God, not from a sense of repentance or unworthiness, but just feeling God’s presence.
It came to him to read
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 KJV
It helped him see that God is very solution-oriented and has a different perspective on us than we do on ourselves.
The next day at church the pastor preached about that very verse. He could see it was not just a coincidence, but God working in his life.
Another time, God put him in the right place at the right time to show him what was happening in the leadership of the cult he was a member of, which helped him break away from it.
God also opened his eyes and heart to receive the Holy Spirit and find people who were empowered by God.
God’s unconditional love
We talked about God’s unconditional love and why it’s so important to understand.
We know we’re made in the image and likeness of God and that everything He created is good.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:26, 31 KJV
Jared explains this is our ultimate spiritual identity as the child of God; it’s the very fabric of our being. We are free to be who God made us to be. We live knowing how loved we are and how royal we are.
I asked what it means to have a royal inheritance. Paul talks about this in
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 NIV
Jared says we need to start with this a possibility, even if our lives don’t seem to bear witness to it. But we need to give ourselves permission to think in a more spiritual way.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
He empowers people bringing them back to the truth of who they are, made in the image and likeness of God. He asks people, “What does God say about you in the Bible?”
One example is
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:4-6 NKJV
It’s about renewing your mind in the way God sees you. Here are some of his favorite verses:
because as he is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17 KJV
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 NKJV
What does being a child of God look like?
Jared asks himself, “What does being a child of God really look like for me today?” And says, When you show up in the world as a child of God, it changes you from the inside out.
Jared went to Maui after the fires there. I asked him how he was able to help people who had lost their homes and family. What do we say to people without being awkward? I asked.
He says it’s important just to give people space to talk and say what they need to say. You have to come from a place of unconditional love for these folks, so they feel they’re in a safe place to open up and share what’s really on their heart. It may be hard for them to open up. They need to feel loved.
It’s important not to lose sight of who God is and who they are as children of God. Sometimes people had survivor’s guilt. People need to face and process their own situation without comparing to other people’s situations.
3 Final Questions:
- If you could talk to any Bible character other than Jesus, who would it be and what would you ask them?
He would like to talk to Joseph in the Old Testament and find out how he kept his faith even when it seemed like all was lost.
- Is there any Bible character you especially identify with,
The apostle John, because he knew he was beloved. Jared relates to this sense of knowing you’re loved.
- This podcast is about getting back to the original Christianity of Jesus. How would you describe Jesus’s original message of how he wanted us to live our lives?
Jesus says judge as I judge, and by the way, I judge no one. That’s the key to freedom.
Jesus just tapped into the truth of who he was, hanging out with the Father.He was modelling this for us, that God’s presence is available for us. We need to take the time to connect with the heart of the Father, you’ll know what the Father is like and it will transform you.
Photo credit above: Anthony Tori
Jared Capello is a husband and father of three girls. He is a Certified Coach and Fulfillment Strategist helping people get rid of limiting beliefs from their lives to gain a deep-rooted and established sense of spiritual identity. One of the things he focuses on and tells people is: Be the love you are.
Born and raised in a cult until leaving at the age of 21, Jared has seen firsthand how manipulation, trauma, fear and control are used to silence people’s hearts, while reprogramming their minds. Jared frequently shares life advice via his social channels Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook. His expertise and advice has been featured in The Editor’s Desk.
James Early, the Jesus Mindset Coach, is a Bible teacher, speaker, and podcaster. He conducts Bible workshops online and in person. His focus is on getting back to the original Christianity of Jesus by embracing the mindset of Christ in daily life. Contact him here.
Philippians 4:8 Mirror translation
8 Live overwhelmed by God’s opinion of you
Jeremiah 32:40 NLT
40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.
Psalm 51:1 NKJV
1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Psalm 18:35 NKJV
35 Your gentleness has made me great.
Psalm 23:3 Mirror translation
3 By the still waters of reflection, my soul remembers who I am.
1 John 4:8 KJV
8 God is love.
Luke 9:51-56 KJV
51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village
John 14:9 KJV
9 he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;
Zephaniah 3:17 KJV
17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
Genesis 1:26, 31 KJV
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
Romans 8:17 NIV
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Ephesians 2:4-6 NKJV
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
1 John 4:17 KJV
17 because as he is, so are we in this world.
Mark 9:23 NKJV
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”