Where do you find your identity; that sense of who you are? If we are each honest with ourselves, we can tend to look for the answer to that question in many places. Some people find their identity in their job: “I’m a teacher,” “I’m a salesperson,” “I’m an accountant,” “I’m an engineer,” “I’m a ____________.” Others find their identity in their relationships, whether it’s with their spouse, their parents, siblings, children, friends, etc. Still others find their identity in their achievements and accomplishments, their wealth, status, and reputation, their interests and hobbies. Essentially, many identify themselves based upon something they have made themselves to be. Have you ever done that before? Are you doing that now?
It’s interesting how many different places we can look for what defines us. In each of our journeys through life, each of you may have come to these crossroads or questions at one point in time. Even as believers, we can wrestle with this question: Who am I?
The beautiful part about the promises of God found in the Bible is that we are not defined by what we do, what we have made ourselves to be, our list of accomplishments, our bank account, our trophies, our reputation. We do not give ourselves an identity. The pieces of our life that we would hold up as the thing(s) that define who we are don’t really stack up in the light of the identity that we have in Christ and through Christ.
The Apostle Paul was writing about this very thing to the church in Philippi and he writes about not putting confidence in one’s own self, abilities, and laurels. Instead, Paul writes these words in Philippians 3: 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
The very things that Paul would have been tempted to rest upon for his identity amounted to nothing more than garbage to him when it came to the incredible blessing given to him by God: to be counted as one of His children. It’s a wonderful promise and reminder for each of us today. That no matter where we are tempted to look for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in our own lives, no matter where we turn to advance ourselves and make our own names great, we are given a name better than we could conjure up ourselves, we are given a greater place than we could ever achieve on our own, and we are given a grander title than we could ever earn: beloved child of God. Through Christ, you are identified as His. Through Christ, you are called His Son, His Daughter. Through Christ, you are made more and more in His image as you live and trust in Him. What an honor!
Pastor Ben Bigaouette