Have you ever stopped and wondered why you do the things you do? In the course of our lives our identities are molded and shaped by our day to day experiences, media, relationships and the culture around us. We live in a world where we let those experiences constantly change and define who we are individually.
The Worst Enemy
In the culture today there is such an emphasis on identity and if you don’t live up to the standards of the world, you’re not enough. You know what it’s like: You’re standing in line somewhere and you notice the girl in front of you in her messy bun and perfect fitting clothes. You shuffle your feet awkwardly realizing you could never look as flawless as her even on your best looking day. Or when you hear your best friend got invited to an event but you didn’t, and you think there must be something wrong with you and you can’t live up to their expectations. We have been so pressured by the world and all it’s expectations on what our identity should look like that we forget where our true identity lies within.
The Greatest Example
Jesus knows what you are going through because He went through it as well. He was condemned and ridiculed by people trying to tell Him who He was. One day the people would follow and praise Him while the next day they would scorn and want Him crucified. And beautifully yet, He stayed firm in who He was because His identity was in the Father. It’s amazing to realize that just as Jesus was perfectly blameless in all that He did, and yet getting ridiculed by others, that we, as believers, don’t have to try and reach a certain level of accomplishment to know our worth and gain the acceptance from the people around us.
Identity in Christ
When we look to the world for approval and self worth, it’s tiring. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent so much time trying to get my hair to look a certain way, or worn clothes that were trendy because I wanted to “fit in”. Not only is there so much wasted time but right when you think you’ve achieved your goal, someone or something is there to tell you that you haven’t measured up. That no matter how much you try, you’ll have to keep on trying and even then, you’ll never quite make it, cause someone will be there to say otherwise.
I was recently reading in Ephesians and the first chapter, Paul writes about how Jesus has adopted us into His family:
” According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. ” Ephesians 1: 4-6
Jesus chose me and you! He didn’t decide to adopt us because of our family history, He didn’t adopt us because of our impeccable past, He didn’t adopt us because of our abilities. He didn’t reject us because of our lack in those ares either. When you turn your life over to Jesus and you accept Him into your heart, there is a change that takes place and your new identity is in Christ. You are given new life, and it is no longer you living out your life alone but Christ living in and through you. It is in Christ that you no longer have to keep trying, you no longer have to try and keep up with the standards, you don’t have to try and live for the approval of others, because it is in your own strength that you fail and never measure up. When your identity is in Christ you no longer have to try but instead you can have rest, because it is no longer you trying to do things but Christ doing. You don’t have to live for others acceptance because you are accepted and adopted into the family of God! In Christ you don’t have to worry about failing or failing Him because it says in 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful , by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
How Christ sees us
If we live in the identity of Christ and how He sees us, then we don’t have to try and find our worth and acceptance in the world and circumstances around us. In Christ we can live with confidence and not worry about changing who we are because of others opinions. When we reckon that we are in Christ, we experience God’s unconditional love in a whole new way. In 2 Corinthians it talks about when we come to Christ, we are a new creation, the old is passed away.
- God made you with purpose, ( Ephesians 2:10 )
- Your life has remarkable value, ( Matthew 5:14 )
- You were made perfect, ( James 1:4 )
- You are chosen, ( 1 Peter 2:9 )
- You are holy and righteous, ( Ephesians 4:24 )
- You are in Christ and Christ in you, ( Galatians 2:20 )
- You are a child of God, ( John 1:12 )
- You are a conqueror, ( Romans 8:37 )
- You were created in His image, ( Genesis 1:27 )
- You are forgiven, ( Colossians 2:13-14 )
- You are strong, ( Philippians 4:13 )
- You are alive in Christ, ( Romans 6:11 )
- You are loved, ( 1 John 4:9 )
- You are not forsaken, ( Psalm 94:14 )
- You are Christ’s ambassador, ( 2 Corinthians 5:20 )
In Christ Alone
It is my deepest desire that you would know your true identity is found in Christ and Him alone. That you would turn your identity into the One who is unchanging and unfailing and who loves you more than you could ever understand. Without Christ, I am pulled by my flesh, selfish, prideful and imperfect. I hold onto the blessings God has given to me and use them for my own selfish desires. I want to seek my own will instead of the will of God. But I’m not that person anymore! That is not my identity. I am loved, adored, holy and righteous and I can give God all the glory in all the ways He has blessed me with. I can’t do any of it in my own doing but by the marvelous grace of Christ Jesus. It’s my prayer you can say the same and praise the Lord that He would love us so much even in our rebellious, sinful state and give us a new identity in Him!
“If you are not attaching your identity to the unshakable love of your savior, you will ask the things in your life to be your savior, and that will never happen.” – Paul David Tripp