We are all familiar with the classic “introduce yourself” agenda. Actually, we’ve done this since childhood. At schools, jobs, and even informal social gatherings, introducing who we are is a common practice. Yet, after stating our name, age, and what we are like, do we really know who we are? At the end of the day when nobody sees us, what is left of our real identity? Surprisingly, introducing who we are is not something we can do. This is because our identity in Christ is what makes us who we are. So, what does this mean and what can we do about this?
Identity In Christ
As an example, let’s say that an author is writing a character who is loving and family-oriented. When the novel becomes a movie, people can have different opinions about this character. Maybe, they perceive the character’s kindness as a defense mechanism or an act. Or maybe they appreciate the character’s empathy towards his peers. Despite the unlimited opinions people may have, how the author wrote the character will always be the identity the character possesses.
In the same way, the identity in Christ we all share is something no one can edit or redefine. How God perceives us is the real identity we have. This is because He is the One who created us, died for us, and the One who is writing our life. From God’s eyes, our likeness is completely different from the ones we see and the ones other people tell us. Based on our identity in Christ, here are the truths of who we truly are:
We Belong To God
Romans 14:8 tells us that before and during death, we are His. The world and our flesh attempt to convince us that we rule over ourselves. This kind of thinking promotes sin and develops a habit of thinking that we no longer need God. Additionally, this whispers to people that, our lives, once gone, will have nowhere to go and that life on Earth is just there to waste on sin.
But, we are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Everything we know and have comes from the Lord and this is an opportunity to glorify Him while we are still alive. Our identity in Christ tells us that no one, even ourselves, has possession over our lives except for Him. This means that we have to take care of our bodies as the temple of God and that we have to live for the One who created us.
Non-Christians might think that belonging to God is like a slave and master relationship. But, it’s the opposite. In fact, we should be glad that we belong to God because He loves and never leaves the ones He owns (Isaiah 43:1).
You are Strong
Because you are God’s, you are made strong in His likeness. No matter what someone is fighting up against, may it be a failure or frustration, remember that God made everyone strong. Actually, the idea of strength is mentioned multiple times in the Bible. This is because humans tend to step down on the doors God opens for them. After all, their sins and other people’s opinion make them feel weak.
Joshua 1:9 is a reminder that staying strong is a commandment that displays our burning faith for God. Deuteronomy 31:6 also states that because God goes with you, you will gain courage. God has your back, He never misses and never loses. If a Lord so great is rooting for you, no one and nothing can weaken you.
You are a Masterpiece
Here’s a beautiful and sweet truth about the Story of Creation. God made light, rich bodies of water, colorful flowers, and fierce animals yet the world was incomplete before He made mankind, before He made you. Our identity in Christ tells us that everything good in us was carefully and perfectly designed by God.
In fact, Ephesians 2:10 calls us God’s “workmanship” created in Christ and prepared for good. The world finds it easy to point out the flaws that make us feel insecure and invaluable. But in reality, the Eyes of the King and Maker sees us as His best craft. Isn’t that sweet?
You are Enough
Sufficiency is a sensitive and personal topic. When we and other people evaluate our appearance, performance, and wealth, the world will always have labels. In the worldly setting, nothing and no one can ever be enough. There will always be someone more and someone less. But these, including the pressure that comes from this mindset, are lies set by the enemy.
We are made sufficient by God (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). The weaknesses we see are not liabilities before God. He did not create us with higher or lower levels. Instead, He gives His grace to everyone equally and unconditionally. As followers of Christ, let us not dwell on the idea of sufficiency and competition that does not exist. All of these unnecessary concepts are made by men and are therefore meaningless after time.
You are Precious
How do you show someone they are “precious”? Probably most of us will answer this question by telling them how we feel or giving our loved ones things they might enjoy. While these are warm gestures, listen to what God has to say in Isaiah 43:4!
Here, the Lord identifies us as someone precious that He will give people and even nations just for our lives. He tells us this because He loves us and cares for us. So, never let any person or any circumstance define your worth. To God’s eyes, you are more precious than an entire nation.
You are Never Alone
When our circumstances and the people around us make it impossible to feel happiness, we tend to feel alone. The creeping feeling of no one caring or listening to you is painful but it is also false. We are never alone in God.
He tells us in Isaiah 41:10 that He will always be with us. This is proven by God’s characteristic of being omnipresent. Meaning, He is present everywhere in your ups and downs, success and failure, and even when you feel like He is not there.
The lesson we can get from this is to never rely on people for companionship. Mankind is flawed. We ignore, reject, betray, and fail. But God, the One who stands with us, has never failed and He never will. And because of this, we are never alone no matter what happens to us. This is not just a promise God gives out of love. God being with us is a part of our identity in Christ.
You are Still in Progress
The world is harsh when it comes to telling people how their lives should look like. This explains why most of us are recklessly aiming for the perfect answer only God can give. However, this kind of pressure is all constructed by man. Our identity in Christ is someone who doesn’t need to be perfect. Instead, we are all a work in progress that needs the perfect God.
We can see this in Philippians 1:6. In the Bible, God is continuously reminding us that despite our flaws, offenses, and past, He wants us to know that He is not done with us yet. We are a new creation in Christ and every day as we grow closer to Him, He is working on us. So, be patient and stay enthusiastic for the one-of-a-kind life God will grant you after seeking Him.
You are Accepted and Forgiven
Day-by-day, people are doing their best to hide their insecurities and mistakes they committed in the past. The world likes to take advantage of the things that we are guilty of and unproud of. Especially with social media, a single mistake can be reminded to a person every day despite their desire to change.
But, this is not who we are. For God, our mistakes are nothing but stains He gets rid of the instant we return to Him. He loves us even at the things we hate about ourselves. Our identity does not have to lie in perfection because God accepts the people He calls His (Romans 15:7). Our identity in Christ teaches us that only God can define us because it is only Him who knows the real us.
The Boiling Point
The list goes on about who we are in Christ. There are so many hidden parts of our real identity no list can ever enumerate in its entirety. However, here’s a shortcut to this formula. From the words “identity in Christ”, our identity is whatever identity Christ bears. So, if Jesus is loving, wise, patient, accepting, respectful, disciplined, and great – Since we are His, we become like Him. As a result, the more we learn to love Jesus, the more we learn about ourselves.
Finding Your Identity In Christ
Our identity in Christ is something that cannot be rewritten by mankind. But just like anything, unleashing our real identity requires our admission to God. This works in this way because one can’t savor something God-given without God. This being said, here are the following ways we can find out who we truly are in the likeness of Christ.
Know Christ to Know You
“Identity without Christ” is null without Christ Himself. Since we are from the likeness of our Savior, we need to know what He is like to know what we are made to be. Reading the Bible, especially the New Testament, can give us a clearer understanding of what Christ is like.
You might be surprised to see how the life of Jesus on Earth shares similarities with your life right now. Doing so will also make you realize that Jesus is more than the Man on the Cross. He was also a great friend, an excellent teacher, a kind son, and a faithful man. Put simply, you have to know what Christ is like in order to see how He sees you.
Read the Bible More
Aside from knowing the attributes of Jesus, knowing how He sees you is achieved by reading the Bible more. The Bible is the only source available for mankind that projects the Word of God. From reading more, we can easily separate ourselves from the requirements of the world as we expose ourselves to the standard of God.
For those starting out in reading the Bible to know more about one’s identity, you might want to check out the Epistle to the Romans or simply Romans, the Book of Psalms, and the Gospel of John. These books from the Bible offer a gateway for anyone seeking to find their identity before God.
Choose to Not Listen
Sometimes choosing not to listen is the only way to hear what God is saying to us. If we want to see ourselves based on Christ, we need to learn how to shut down the voices of other people, including ourselves. We need to hold our faith stronger than before. So when people or circumstances pressure us to be like someone or something, we can look back at God and see how He sees us. In this way, we’ll never get off the right mindset and spiritual power.
Detox from Social Media
Undeniably, social media offers pros in terms of convenience and communication. However, it has been backed up by many studies that social media affects our self-image regardless of age and experience. Social media posts breed comparison, self-pity, and other negative thoughts. When our minds are filled with projections of different people we feel bad about, we tend to desire to fix ourselves up for an identity that isn’t us.
Social media is also dangerous in a way that it encourages us to seek validation from people and not from God. For example, social media glorifies earthly things like money, beauty, and fame. Having these qualities as part of our identities makes us likable by the world but not by God. If we live by the standard of the world, we will always be disconnected from our real selves. Avoiding social media may seem like a small step but it carries a big impact on our identity in Christ.
Seeing Yourself as God Sees You
Not a single part of us is left unseen by God yet He loves and accepts us unconditionally. God values, protects and remains true in showing us our identity in Christ. Therefore, we are called to do the same with our lives. We do not need these external or worldly matters that only want a portion of us and remember that to keep our real identities, Jesus paid the full and ultimate price.
We are more than who we think we are to the eyes of the One who saved us. The moment we stop living for the identities we force on ourselves is the moment we live. Knowing our identity in Christ is crucial because, without it, we’ll never experience our worth that no amount of wealth nor power can ever copy. We are all beautiful, loved, forgiven, and powerful. All these can only be unraveled through the Way, the Truth, and the Life.