Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. – Col. 1:21-22
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Eph. 2:10
The Spirit himself testifies with our Spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his suffering in order that we may also share in his glory. – Rom. 8:16-17
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about identity lately.
I’ve grown up in the church. And as a former Pastor’s daughter and a current Pastor’s wife I’m very familiar with every version of expectations that believers can subject one another to. We’re very good at developing a mental image of what a “good Christian” look like and then imposing that standard on those around us. Usually it involves a list of “don’t evers” and “you had betters” that we watch others for very carefully. But if someone else tries to judge us by their standard. . .
We can grow up trying to prove to others that we are good enough. We spend so much of our energy trying to create our “appropriately spiritual” identity that we never fully grasp the identity that was handed to us the moment we placed our faith in Christ. And I have spent much of my life trying to figure out exactly how to define my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Every definition I come up with comes from this skewed perspective of having to earn his love.
My recent studying is far from over and I’m certain I do not have all the answers. But my understanding of my identity in Christ is being revolutionized.
I am fully reconciled to God. Total reconciliation – no hoops to jump through or checklists to compIete! I was created – the implication in Ephesians is that of an artisan creating handcrafted artwork – with a specific kingdom-focused purpose. I am a child of God and a fellow-heir of his firstborn son.
My children did not have to do a thing to earn their place in my family. Once I placed my faith in Christ, the same was true of my place in God’s family. What does this mean for me in a “doing life everyday” kind of way?
I need to embrace my identity and live into it. My choices need to be based not on a desire to earn God’s love but as a reaction to the fact that his love is already mine. After all, my Heavenly Father is the King of Kings which makes me, as his daughter, a princess. =) No earthly princess has to earn her membership in the royal family but she does live a certain way because of her identity as the daughter of the king.
This way of looking at identity is new for me. It’s doing crazy things to the way I look at my life. It’s a little unnerving to have my paradigm shifted so violently but I’m excited to see where the journey takes me.