Username of the writer: ArticleProf
Identity is simply who we are, how we view or think about ourselves, how the world views us, and the general traits we portray. How we see ourselves has a significant role in how we behave or what we say. We can know our identity through various ways such as trying out new things and activities, having some time alone, and building relationships with other people.
Sometimes as we try to define who we are, we use certain things such as our jobs, successes, physical appearance, financial strength, what our friends and family say about us, and many other things.
The problem of defining our identity using these things is that we are forced to change our identity every time we fail. Other times we may get it all wrong, especially when defining our identity based on what other people say about us. That happens mostly when the people around us define us negatively, and we believe them. That ultimately affects our well-being, our actions, and even the height of our achievements in life. For that reason, as the children of God, we should define our identity only in Christ.
When we put our identity in Christ, our lives change, and we become even happier.
Putting our identity in Christ means that we no longer identify ourselves based on our circumstances or other people’s opinions. From the Scriptures, we see how God changed the identity of Abraham and Sarah from how they viewed themselves as childless and gave them a new identity where Abraham became the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5). In Christ, we no longer see ourselves as failures if we fail.
We do not call ourselves names such as a sinner, unrighteous, sick, or poor.
Instead, through identity in Christ, we are now called believers, righteous, healed, and rich. What God says about us is how we should see ourselves.
Since we have accepted Christ, the old is gone, and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old is gone, meaning that we are no longer called sinners, and hence we can be distinguished from the rest of the world. Our old man was crucified with Him, and now we are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6). This new identity in Christ changes our lives completely. We start living only based on what God says about us without depending on any external circumstance to attach value to ourselves. Building our identity in Christ helps us experience his unconditional love better than before and share this love easily with other people.
When our identity is in Christ, we are careful to please God and glorify him in all that we do. We no longer love the things of the world, such as the desires of the flesh or pride in our material possessions, since we understand pretty well that the world is passing away (I John 2:15-17). We live in the world, but we are not of the world, and hence our focus is doing the will of God. When we focus on pleasing God and having the foundation of our identity in the things of Christ, our weaknesses or failures will not crush us, neither will we find pride in the successes of this world.
If our identity is in Christ, we find no need to compare ourselves with other people.
We live our lives our way as long as we are doing the will of God. We do not compare and start competing negatively with the people that are ahead of us. Our new identity in Christ helps us understand that we are all gifted differently, and therefore we will glorify God in different ways. Others may be gifted to glorify God through singing, while others do it in evangelism, and hence we are all unique.
Also, due to our new identity, we do not judge the people that we think are doing things differently or slower than we do.
When our identity is in Christ, we can persevere in our sufferings since we understand that these sufferings will only contribute to our growth in the things of Christ. Even Jesus suffered, and since as believers we are co-heirs with him, then we must suffer with him that we may be glorified with him also (Romans 8:16-17). The sufferings that Jesus went through conquered over sin and death, and hence when we suffer, we must be thankful because it’s a way of bringing the sin in us to death. Everyone suffers in one way or another, and as believers, we should use our sufferings to draw closer to God.
Recently in my neighborhood, there was this young man named Sam who was doing well in business. Sam was venturing into the food and hospitality sector, and he ran a very successful restaurant. He depended on his business alone, and he had no other source of income. He put all his time, energy, and dedication into the business, and he was confident that it would never fail as long as he remains the manager there. Sam was young and indeed living the dream of many.
The problem is that his restaurant business had been doing well for a long time until recently when the corona pandemic came and affected many businesses, especially in the hospitality sector. The restaurant would not sustain him anymore since his customers reduced drastically. To make the matter worse, the government ordered the closure of all hotels and restaurants to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Sam faced it rough since besides depending on his business to look after his young family, he was also servicing a loan. Sam could not handle the pressure and the sudden change of things, and unfortunately, he committed suicide. From this, it is clear that Sam was unable to overcome the storm because the foundation of his identity was in this business. He saw himself as a failure that could not face the future.
Let us always seek our identity in Christ and nothing else as believers. Our failures or achievements should not play any role in our identity. We should only see ourselves as God sees us. 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us that we are a chosen generation and God’s special people. Therefore, our joy and identity should be in Christ alone, and our minds should only focus on the things above and never be troubled by earthly things. Thank you; have a wonderful day!