Monday, June 22, 2015

Are You Really a Christian? Or Is It Just a Label?

by Alycia W. Morales

Identity - Part II

My husband sat down with our boys one evening while I was out with our daughter. He handed each of them a sheet of paper and asked them to write down five things they considered to be part of their identity.

Before you read the rest of this post, I encourage you to do the same. Then, click on "read more" and finish reading this post.

1. All three of them identified themselves as Christian. If you've ever seen my bio on Pinterest or here, you'll see that I put "child of God" instead of Christian.

Here's why: Many who identify themselves as Christian merely state they believe in God. Well, it's one thing to say you believe in God. It's another thing entirely to say that you know Him. I may believe you exist on Facebook, because I can see your photo there. That doesn't mean that I know you intimately, as a friend would. I may only be an acquaintance or someone you've networked with for business purposes. There's a big difference between the two, isn't there?

I am not merely someone professing to be a Christian with a belief in God. I have a very intimate knowledge of Him and who He is, because I've taken the time to get to know Him. I've read His word. I've prayed. I've sat with my coffee and talked with Him. And He has done so many things in my life that have proven His existence and His love for me, that I could never deny how real He is.

The next things my boys listed included some character traits and hobbies.

Which are valid parts of our identities. But they're a little out of order.

2. How we relate to others is also very important when approaching our identities. As a child of God, we are part of a family. We have mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers - whether spiritually or biologically. Which makes us sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers.

And if we're married, we are husbands or wives. When two become one... This is also a key to our identity.

Maybe you see yourself as abused, because a mother or father, sister or brother, husband or wife has taken advantage of you sexually, physically, or emotionally. I would like you to set that identity aside for a moment, and take a look at yourself in God's mirror.

In God's mirror, He sees you covered in the blood of Jesus Christ - a renewed person. The old man has passed away, and the new man stares back at you. A man or woman worthy of love, respect, and to be treated as Jesus loved the church, His bride. Read Ephesians 4-5.

We are kings and queens, princes and princesses in the royal priesthood, the royal family of God.

3. I love that my boys included some of their character traits as part of their identities: lover, honest, peaceful, caring. These are all wonderful parts of their identities - things God has instilled in them since He formed and knitted them in my womb.

These are also things I've called out of them as I've recognized them as they've grown. My oldest son has a heart of compassion and will notice the hurting person. He'll put his own heart and reputation on the line to encourage them. My youngest son loves his mommy so incredibly much. And he attracts the attention of young girls and women alike. There is some deep love inside of him (God's love) that draws people to him like a magnet draws lead flakes.

What has God placed in you that is special? That draws people in? That could hurt you if you were vulnerable? These are beautiful parts of  your identity in Him.

4. Then there are the things we love to do. I believe God has given each of us any number of talents. They tend to show out as careers or hobbies. What are you really great at? What can you do that others look and say, "Wow. I wish I could do that."?

Maybe you're great at some form of art, music, or drama. Maybe you're the best carpenter in town. Maybe you have a way with words or numbers. Maybe you have a keen eye for hitting the mark on a target.

Whatever your talent is, please don't put it on a shelf or bury it in a hole in the ground and forget about it. Many use the excuse that they don't have time to pursue their hobbies or their dream career. But God has a plan for that, or else He wouldn't have warned about burying the talent out of fear of losing it if we try to increase in that area. Read Matthew 25:14-29.

All of these things add up to our identity. The key thing is to recognize yourself in God's eyes. Created in His image and likeness, complete with some of His character traits. A son or daughter of the King of kings. Filled with His love. Deserving of respect from others. Worthy. Gifted with talents to share with others so that they may see a hint of His glory as well.

Inspire Us: How do you identify yourself? Pretend you have to write a Twitter bio (which is really short). What would you put down to identify yourself? Share with us in the comments.


Discovering your personal identity is important. Not sure who you are? Some pointers via @AlyciaMorales. {Click to Tweet}

Are you really a Christian? Or is it just a label you use to identify yourself? {Click to Tweet}

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