Questions come and go, but important ones hover. They keep revolving in our mind until we have answered them honestly.
Where our identity lies is one of life's most important questions. It hits at the heart of our true values, and we keep soul-searching until God is satisfied with our answer.
Too often people place much of their identity on outward things. They are not fully satisfied until certain things happen. Then their lives will be complete. Yet, these aspirations, if misguided, can affect their identity in Christ. It is that identify we must get right. If we are looking for external things to complete us we’re missing the point of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
Christ alone is our completion.
Why is 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, in the Bible? Why are the fruit of the Spirit so highly valued in Galatians 5? What about Philippians 4:4-9 and those traits we're supposed to have our mind on? Or Deuteronomy 4:6-9, about recognising the depth and importance of God's Word?
These scriptures and many like them are written so we can change our identity. Despite being transplanted onto Christ’s rootstock, we try and keep the old yearnings. If our identity is not in Christ alone, we’re relying on outward crutches to get us through life. If those crutches are removed against our will we fall over. We cannot walk alone but breakdown requiring help.
On the other hand, if Christ is our satisfaction and completion, we will never fall down regardless of our circumstance. Maturity is about our inner change of reliance.
Philippines 4: 11 shows us the changes in the Apostle Paul's life. Before his conversion, his identity was in his family heritage and religion. Christ removed those crutches on the road to Damascus, and Paul (Saul) found himself empty, depressed and speechless.
Christ gave him a new name and identity. From there Paul did not waste it. He set himself a course until he could say earnestly, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
Paul worked to become content in Christ alone. He had given up the crutches and learned to walk. Can we?
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, please help me reset my values and identity. I can't seem to help seeking other things, but realise if I need them for my identity I am falling short of your calling.
Photo by Alex Iby