Remembering who I am, and who I’m not
Everyday a million voices try to tell us who we are or who we should be: advertisers, marketers, social media feeds, magazines, TV screens, and even our families and friends. But, what makes us who we are? What is the core of our Christian identity?
Consider this question: When you think about who you are, when you introduce yourself, what kinds of things do you say about yourself? Do you talk about your job, your family, your achievements? Do you list the stores your shop at? Are you an Apple devotee or a Whole Foods disciple? How do you identify yourself?
You are NOT defined by…
- The sum of the good you’ve accomplished or the bad you’ve done.
- The grand total of the sin you’ve committed.
- Your accomplishments, awards, or achievements.
- The letters behind your name.
- The degree(s) you’ve earned or the education you’ve received.
- Your family.
- The brands you buy, the stores you shop at, or the clothes you wear.
- The cancer or sickness that you have.
- The car you drive.
- The square footage of your home.
- Your career.
- The number of likes or follows you’ve garnered.
- Your level of physical fitness or your weight.
- The behavior of your children.
Don’t get me wrong. These are important parts of who you are. But, they are not your identity. And it’s a good thing they’re not. You might find pride in the fact that you are physically fit. Some people find their identity in that. But, what happens when you get sick or injured and you put on some pounds? Who are you then? Or, being a mother might be your identity. And, that is an important part of you. But, what happens if you lose a child? Who are you then? Or, you may have worked hard for all the likes and follows you have on social media, but what happens when those followers find someone new to follow?
The fact is, all these identities the world puts on us are temporary. They come and go. The will not last. You can’t take the homes, clothes, bags, degrees, or cars with you into eternity. So, what does give us our Christian identity?
You ARE defined by…
- The righteousness of Christ, His accomplishments, and His perfection.
- The greatest sacrifice the world has ever known.
- A cross.
- A tomb.
- The hope that Jesus secured for you.
- The resurrection that awaits you.
- The Father who created and cares for you.
- The Spirit that fills you.
- The faith that connects you to your Lord.
- The baptism God washed you in as He called you by name and washed you clean.
- The Supper that feeds, strengthens, and forgives you.
- The Words and promises of God and His declarations about you.
This is who you are: God’s beloved child (1 John 3:2). That is your identity. It is an identity built upon the completed work of Christ. It is one that does not come and go. It’s not founded upon the shifting seas of life. You can’t buy it in a store or earn it from the praise of other people. Your identity comes to you totally apart from you. It comes from Jesus. Which means that you can be sure it is who you are.
All of the other ways we identify ourselves come and go. They change. They’re not solid and unshifting. But, our Christian identity is permanent. It’s for eternity.
You are God’s beloved child. Don’t ever forget it.
If you’ve liked what you read and want to read more, check out my little book on Christian maturity called, “Growing Up: In, with, and under Jesus” on Amazon.