Identify Me

Identity

We all have an identity: certain traits and characteristics that set us apart from other people. When asked to describe yourself, what things do you say? How would you classify yourself? Usually, I begin with my personality and beliefs, likes and dislikes, my situation in life… things that other people can easily grasp, allowing them to put me in their neat little box of opinions. 🙂 Some things are easily seen: my ethnicity and manner of dress; other things are not so apparent.

I think that as believers we can all safely say that our desire is for others to see Christ in us, first and foremost. But do they? Do they see the very characteristics of Christ Jesus in our lives? Or do they see someone whose identity is somehow wrapped up in something lesser?

When a person has strong convictions and chooses a less-traveled road, it is so easy to become entangled in a sort of pride in those things that characterize and set us apart. And, suddenly, we are known as homeschoolers, feminine dressers, stay-at-home-daughters, Bible college students, health food eaters, cloth-diapering mamas, advocates of courtship… the list goes on. The convictions we hold dearly become our identity. What about, simply, followers of Jesus? There comes a time when we suddenly realize we have left our first love…

How do we avoid this pride? Should we let go of our convictions? No, but perhaps we should not be holding onto them quite so tightly. Let them fade to the background. Let us determine, like Paul, to “know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Study His life, His words, His Identity. Know Him, so that the world may see Him. Read Galatians 5, examine your life in light of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. These are the things others should see in you, that should set you apart–that should identify you.

10 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Thank you for stating this so wonderfully. This was a great encouragement to me today.
    ~A Follower of Christ in Kansas

  2. Oh so good, this is something I have been pondering lately and you have stated it very well 🙂

  3. Thank you, Elizabeth! I needed this post. God bless you and your family!!

    ~Naomi in WI

  4. AMEN!

    I am a follower of Christ… and everything else is just a side-note! 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes! What a wonderful reminder! Thank you.

  6. lizzykristine says:

    Thank you for this article! It is very insightful. In relation to this struggle, sometimes the words of an old hymn comes to mind, “Not I, but Christ, in every look and action…”

  7. Ah, Elizabeth, you know this is a topic near and dear to my heart… and you put it so clearly and succinctly… something I’m never good at. 😉 This issue is *so vital* and yet, so frequently missed. We need to evaluate often what we are seeing as being our identity… is it still Christ and Him alone, or has some other topic we’re passionate about taken the front seat?

  8. Amen!!! That is so true and needful to be taken to heart. I’ve been thinking much along the same lines lately, and this was written so well. If I come to the end of my life, and all people can remember of me is those “things” that I did, and beliefs that I held, instead of being able to say they saw Jesus, my life has been utterly wasted. These “things” don’t matter nearly as much as a heart yearning after God and desiring to be conformed to His image.

    Thanks again!! That really, really blessed me!

  9. Laura Anne says:

    Elizabeth!! This was such an excellent article! Such great points for us all!! We’ve come in contact with people that seem to judge by how many kids, what theological books you’ve read, and so on. You’re so right that sometimes we become prideful in thinking we are better because of the choices we’ve made in life (homeschooling, etc.) But God is the one who has supplied the grace to make those choices!
    I know I have been guilty of finding my identity in what I do or what ‘type’ I am. Yet I so want to have my focus on Christ and following Him. It’s my prayer to truly put Him first in my life. 🙂
    Thanks for your article.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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