Identity

Over the past year, many people asked this question on news reports and posts on social media platforms, “what’s wrong with America?” However, I believe there is another question that we must ask, and that is, “what’s wrong with believers in America.” Have we lost sight of our identity in Christ? Does the image we portray to others consistently reflect our faith. It is a question that each of us who identify as followers of Jesus Christ must answer.

Who are you? The response to this question can vary depending on the person and the context. Responding with a name is an obvious answer for most and depends on how individuals view their identity. I am a mother, father, wife, husband, son, or daughter are life role responses.  I am a secretary, teacher, pilot, pastor, nurse, doctor, fast-food worker, or housekeeper are job title responses. Then there are the responses where it is apparent that a person achieves identity from being associated with other people. Finding a way to name-drop the association in some way elevates their perceived status or importance.

Many factors contribute to how we perceive our identity, but they are not the total of who we are. Think about it. If our jobs, titles, and life roles are all we are, do we cease to be if a job is lost, a relationship changes or children grow up, move out, or get married? Who are we as believers? The Apostle Paul provides an answer to the question.

“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV)

Identification with Christ means death to self and the old life. Coming to faith in Jesus Christ means that we are “new creations” and belong to God. Christ did not die for us to continue living our lives the same or as we please. He died so that He might live through us.  We do not cease to live as individuals with our unique personalities, but the life we live, we live by faith.  Living by faith means total dependence and surrender to Christ. Christ must be the center of and involved in everything we do, say, and in all our relationships. Our identification with Christ must be consistent with our lifestyle and the way we treat others. In this way, we bring glory to God, are credible witnesses, and change the world.

I think that it is time for every believer in Jesus Christ to look in the mirror and answer the question, who am I?  Your identity is the answer to your purpose.

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:23-24, NIV)