HOW TO TAKE HOLD OF YOUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST
Taking hold of our identity in Christ means that we react to the world in ways that acknowledge, accept, and embrace our secure identity in Christ. In his book “The Ragamuffin Gospel,” Brennan Manning writes, “My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” As we apprehend this truth for ourselves, our daily lives will be transformed in a radical way.
It is vital that we grasp this truth first before we can conform to Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2:10 declaring, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Paul isn’t saying to pursue good works apart from your identity, but to be who you are by walking around in this true identity and demonstrating it to the world around you.
God has prepared opportunities for us live out of this new identity. Here are a few small actions with big impact that we shouldn’t overlook:
Say “Thank You”
Those two words can have a lot of impact if they’re expressed from a place of deep gratitude. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to say thank you, especially to those who may feel under-appreciated. Since we already know we’re made significant in Jesus, we can make much of others without it threatening our own value.
Choosing generosity towards others will remind you that your value doesn’t rest in what you have, but in who you are in Christ. Remembering God’s kindness towards you in Christ can equip you extend the same kind of joyful generosity towards others, the local church, and other organizations.
Choose to drive in the slow lane or invite your toddler to help bake cookies. In a world that runs at break-neck speed, this practice reinforces the reality that our identity is not in performance and other’s perception of us, but rooted in God’s love for us.
Extend Grace Towards Mistakes
Maybe the restaurant mixed up your order or your teenager got into another car wreck. If these mistakes seem like a personal attack and offense, we’re likely to react in anger. But, if we react from our new identity—as someone who has received abundant grace from God—we can extend grace towards other’s mistakes too.
Serve One Another
Each of us has an opportunity to live out of our identity by serving our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. God as also enabled us to fulfill this opportunity by equipping us with spiritual gifts and natural talents.
Share the Gospel
Overwhelmed by God’s love for us, we will desire to share this truth with everyone around us. This includes believers and non-believers alike because the same gospel that brings us to live continues to offer new freedom as we continue to follow Jesus.
Worship with Abandon
Worship is the only fitting response towards God’s generous grace and love towards us. Not only can we sing with passion about God’s goodness, but we can also our daily choices as acts of worship if we’re choosing to honor and obey God through our affections and actions.
As we keep our eyes open towards opportunities to act from our true identity, we must keep our identity as one loved by God in full focus. If we try to live under a God who we believe is only tolerating or begrudging our relationship, our understanding, acceptance, and expression of our identity will be stunted. We aren’t living to earn our identity as valuable. Instead, we accept the grace from God that produces good works as a demonstration of our identity and his goodness.