If someone were to ask you who you are, what would you say? How would you describe yourself? Do some of the following adjectives sound familiar? I know they do for me.
Wife. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Cousin. Mother. Friend. Student. Athlete. Musician. Artist. Rich. Poor. Successful. Failure. Smart. Tall. Short. Skinny. Fat…..the list is endless.
These are the labels that we so often use to describe ourselves and others. Do you ever tire of being known by what you do instead of who you are? I often hear, “oh you’re the runner!” While I absolutely love running, I desire to have people know ME and not only what I can do on a track. When did we forget to use the most important labels to describe ourselves and others?
CHILD OF GOD. SAVED. FORGIVEN. LOVED. REDEEMED. FREE. A NEW CREATION. COMPLETE. ACCEPTED.
Pause. Read that again.
Our identity is not of this world. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, a new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Do you know what this means?! It means that if you are in Christ, the labels the world throws at you are MEANINGLESS! The world does not define you. Your reputation does not define you. Your grades, your success, your class, your last name…NONE OF THIS DEFINES YOU! The perfect Jesus who came down from heaven to be beaten, mocked, despised, and crucified on a cross for YOU and for ME – HE is who defines us! I take great joy in this promise because it means that my weaknesses, my imperfections, my limitations have no control over me. Instead, I can look to the one who is higher than I and delight in Him.
It is easy to think that Jesus was above all the temptation. That He wouldn’t understand what we are going through. That today is so different than when He was on earth. Stop for a second and think about that. Do you really think that the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Perfect in every way Jesus Christ is not powerful enough to handle the struggles of our lives today? Jesus was tested in every way. He was led out into a desert for 40 days and 40 nights to be tempted by Satan. Yet, He never sinned. He never caved into the temptation. He never allowed the labels of this world to define Him. So why do we?
Do you remember when you were a child and anything was possible? I remember putting on every piece of sports equipment or clothing I could find and proudly announcing that I would play them all at once. I was utterly captivated by the idea that I could do anything. I had unwavering faith in what I could not see. I was free from the labels and restrictions of this world. “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3). Children tend to be dreamers. A child will believe whatever you tell them and hold onto your words with complete trust and faith. A child loves unconditionally and trusts without borders. There is no doubt. So why do we doubt our identities in Jesus, and instead continually get stuck in the labels of this world? Why do we look to the world for our value instead of the One who gives eternal life?
Take some time to reflect on how you describe yourself. Do you tend to use labels of this world or do you describe yourself the way God describes you? Your identity is in Christ alone. What a beautiful identity. So rise up, step above the labels the world puts on you and joyfully accept the labels you have in Christ.
My Identity in Christ is my Reason to Rise.