We often receive our identity or identify others by all the wrong things. Those identities often shape our lives. Either we find ourselves working for our identity or carrying it's burden. When our identity is found in What We Do (our job, our roles as father, mother...) or in What We Have (the car, the house, the clothes...) then we are constantly working to maintain Who We Are or Better Who We Are by moving up the ladder, having more or increasing our purchasing power. But what happens when that collapses - when we are passed over for promotion, when we lose our job, when our company fails, or our family isn't perfect? We are crushed. Lost. Depressed and in despair. Tied to these identities is a deep desire to be loved and feel significant. When we fail to achieve the identity that we are after we feel as though we have lost all significance and cannot be loved.
Sometimes we are identified, not by what we do, but by what was done to us. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect - they all scar us deeply and leave us feeling that we have no love or significance and never can.
If any of these describe you and your life, I have some really Good News!
In Christ, our identity changes - II Corinthians 5:14-17. The Apostle Paul says that in Christ we are made NEW Creations, New Creatures - the old is gone and we are NEW. In Christ we are made clean and pure and holy - so our past no longer identifies us - whether it is what we did or what was done to us! In Christ we who were enemies of God are made Children of God - so our great longing for love and significance is fulfilled. We are children of God, Himself - the creator and sustainer of all that is - The righteous, Holy, Perfect, Powerful King of the universe has made us HIS!
Being God's child means that God is now our Father (duh!). BUT that means that we have a new dad - one who loves us like no other, one who is looking out for what is best for us (even when we don't understand it), one who wants to and is able to provide for our every need and protect us in every way. With that kind of dad who loves us enough to sacrifice Jesus to win us, what do we have to worry about? With a dad like that, who loved us even while we were his enemies, who gives us everything that we need in order to become HIS, why do we continue to work for love and acceptance?
More than just a new dad, in Christ we receive a new family! I John 3:1-3 tell us that we are children of God - that makes us brothers and sisters! I grew up with 2 sisters - one younger, one older. I loved to pick on my sisters and drive them crazy... yes we fought! But at the end of the day they were my sisters! I loved them and I still do. There is really nothing that we could possibly do for one another that we wouldn't do. In a healthy loving family a person is loved - even when they aren't perfect, even when they have a bad day, and often when by the world's standards it isn't love that they deserve! In a healthy family there is care for one another, support for one another, provision for one another, and the family works together to do what needs to be done - that's what the church is - or should be. We are a family! Where we support one another, love one another care for one another, and do all that we can together to meet one another's needs.
The Good News is that in Christ you belong - you belong to an amazing dad and to a not-so-perfect but growing that way family! You belong - not because you have earned it, not because you are special, not because you are amazing - but because Jesus is! And in Him YOU ARE!
Who Are You? If you are a follower of Christ... You are a child of the most high King in a family who loves you dearly! Why are working for what is already yours!?