Monday, October 7, 2013

Dear Readers, last week I posted the following question from a younger woman friend:

What does it really mean to have an identity in Christ when everything around me wants to be my identity?

I decided to let your answers be the article for now.  May we just sit with these responses and soak them into our souls.

I believe identity in Christ is similar to being female: When God creates our gender in the womb, we spend the rest of our lives either enhancing that femininity or trying to change it.  When we are born again in Christ, our choice is to either enhance that new identity or continue doing things that don't allow it to blossom and grow.  No matter who or what pulls at us--being a woman, or being Christ's child, it is up to us to choose (and deny) things that prohibit the growth and full development of all God has planned for us.   ~ Toni

The only way for me to know my position in the battle is to know my identity in Christ.  ~ CS

I know to whom I belong and who's perspective of me matters most. It's none of my business what people think of me, but I am consumed in what God thinks of me.  ~ Vida

It means freedom.  Finding my identity in things outside of Christ (my accomplishments, my abilities, my kids, my appearance, my home, etc.) becomes slavery for me.  I have to meet a certain standard to feel good about myself, or I get down if i feel I am failing in an area.  That feels like slavery to me, and it's also very self-centered.  Finding my identity in Christ means my motives matter more than my accomplishments, and the way I make others feel matters more than how much I impress them.  

~ Susan 

When people who know you refrain from cursing and using God's name in vain, you have established an identity in Christ. All else about you becomes secondary.  ~ Sandy

The light of God shining in me ~ Melva

When we accept Christ in our heart, he becomes an important part of our everyday life thus like Jesus, we think of others, not just ME.  ~ Carlena

To me, having an identity in Christ means letting go of every ideal I see all around me and instead focusing on Jesus Christ and asking Him and trusting Him to define me, to affirm me, to love me, to make me into the person He had in mind when He created me.  This isn't easy because a lot of time I feel that I'm swimming upstream but the more I trust Him with who I am, then the stronger I become and the more I realize I really am His daughter.  ~ Beth

It requires spending regular time looking into my soul in the presence of God.  ~ Sheri

For me my identity is ALWAYS in something other than Christ it seems.  I'm The mom of my kids and to their friends; Mrs. Sheffield, I'm a doctor's wife . . . and this is somehow a comfort to friends who are sick. I'm a Bible study teacher and a great friend and a mentor. . . this summer I was a house building project manager and a wedding coordinator and even a moving company! But EVERY hour of every day I had to ask myself was I being a representative of Christ?  For ME...that's MY identity . . .not mom or Mrs., teacher, friend or mentor.  Frankly they all meant nothing if I was not being Christ's representative.  Because if I am being His representative then my words speak actions show would identify me as one of HIS!…not Mrs. Sheffield…not The Bible study teacher that you heard an awesome lecture from (or a sucky one from) last week…but someone who others say, "You look different than last time I saw you!" And your response could be, "Oh, this? It's just my identity in Christ spreading!" That is MY hope for what my identity in Christ really means. ~ Laurie Sheffield

For me, it meant that this morning, when my mind was whirling with all that needs to be accomplished in the next few days—the work assignments, the wedding to attend, the potluck dish to prepare, the schoolwork to track down, the friend I need to call—I could pause, take a deep breath, and pray, “You are God alone. Help me remember that everything does not depend on me. You are at work, even when I can’t see it. You have it all under control. You love me even when I fall short. And your kingdom is all that matters.”  ~ Laura

Romans 14:22 “The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”
So far in my life, I have found that being able to say and do from a place of agreement with myself, and making my yes "yes" and my no "no," solidifies His identity in me more than an identity based on what others think.  That agreement comes most naturally when I am in a place of daily communion with Him.  ~ Angela

My identity is based on the fact that I am: deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, powerfully equipped, totally accepted, and complete in Christ according to His Words. My responsibility is to meditate on this Truth; replace the lies/idols in my head with His Words; and let His character be my character. (Romans 8:38-39; Romans 8:1; Ephesians 1:5; II Timothy 1:7; I Peter 2:9; John 10:27-28) 
~ Morna Gilbert, author of Identity Theft: a Crises in Character

It is all about making choices between need and want. Sometimes we must be prepared to stand alone in our choices because they show our identities.  ~ Lynelle

I have always been intrigued by the word IN with the expression IN CHRIST used 22 times in Ephesians.  Greek dictionaries say IN means a FIXED POSITION.  Everything else that tries to define my identify MOVES. Nothing is as solid as Christ.  ~ Christie Miller

Freedom. Freedom to be me, not who others want me to be. Free to be my very best and that's what God has for me when I find my identity in Him.  ~ Joy Roberts

Your identity in Christ is like a HUGS candy!  The dark chocolate (you) swirled together with the white chocolate (Christ in God), cannot be separated no matter the knife or the teeth.  God's steadfast love in Christ bound you to him forever--nothing can break it, not even you!  The externals of life--your mind, your body, your clothes, your relationships and role(s), your job, your hobbies, your circumstances, etc.--do not define you.  Your identity is bound to his, and THAT is even sweeter than a HUGS!  (Psalms 36:5 and 86:5; Romans 8:38-39)  ~ Michelle

I was thinking that to have my identity truly be in Christ means that I am totally living in humility to Him.   I am not performing and doing my daily jobs to be noticed and seen and loved and appreciated by those around me, rather I am (trying) to do these daily tasks for the Lord.   When I truly try to do all things for the Lord then I find that my identity is in Him, and it is not in myself, and that is when I find true joy and ability to focus on those around me, and not my concern only being self.  ~ Amy

Our identity in Christ is inward, fixed, eternal and independent of circumstances.   Every other identity is more like a hat that may be worn for a season, but is subject to the fluctuations of time and situation.  Christ is central to our soul, everything else just explains outer experiences and actions.  As the branch cannot bear fruit apart from abiding in the vine, apart from Christ, we can do nothing.   ~ Melissa

I think truly what our heart desires is an identity that never changes--that is secure. When "everything around me" shifts and changes, knowing that my identity in Christ is secure and unchanging brings a peace that nothing else can.  ~ JS

When Jesus said that we are to "die to self", He meant that we are no longer alive with the world's 'draw': its passions and pleasures. We are alive in Christ, part of His family and new creations in Him. "The old has gone, the new has come!."
  Our identity becomes heirs with God and joint-heirs with Christ. We should have a family resemblance.
 On the" flip" side, when the world tries to seek, hurt, destroy us, we should not "feel" it if we are truly dead to the works and alive in Christ.

   ~ Diane

To have my identity in Jesus in the middle of so many temptations to place my identity and value in something or someone else is critical to the process of renewing my mind daily.  I cannot count how many times over the years I have had to remind myself, as a part of renewing my mind, by saying over and over again, “Abba, I belong to you!”  It’s like a reset button that helps me go back to my foundation and approach whatever is going on in my life from there.  Needless to say, I “renew my mind” frequently.  ~ Sally