If you ask someone to tell you a bit about themselves, they would probably have a quick list of things that give you an opportunity to size them up according to the world’s standards. I’m a pastor’s kid, mom, wife, sister, pastor and friend. Each one of these roles comes with its own set of baggage and unrealistic expectations that I need to measure up to.
The biggest problem with defining our lives by the roles we fill is that all of those things are temporary assignments. Just like a Facebook status, they are subject to change at any given moment. The only thing about me that will never change is the very first identity I ever had in this world… child.
No matter what else defines my life, or what labels the world tries to stick on me, that one truth will never change. We become a lot of things in life, and we all begin at the same place… child.
This is exactly why our identity in Christ begins with understanding our identity as a child of God.
Birth is our origin. It is the anchoring point of understanding who we are and where we fit in the world. Our life in the Kingdom of God also begins with a brand new birth. Not a physical birth, but a spiritual rebirth. Everything else is now added to this one basic truth: you are a chosen and deeply loved child of God. This is your new identity.
John 1:12-13 NLT
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
Although our life up to the point we are saved has been defined by the world’s standards, we are called into a brand-new way of life in the Kingdom of God. All of the old labels, along with their weight of expectation are being stripped away and a new life of peace and freedom is taking its place.
We are no longer defined by the world’s standards; instead, we are all defined by Christ.
Colossians 3:10-11 MSG
Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ.
It doesn’t matter where you came from, or what your life has looked like up to this point. You’ve been invited to lay down the old life with all of its labels and limitations and put on a brand-new life fashioned in the image of Jesus Christ. I love how this scripture from The Message refers to this new life like putting on a brand new wardrobe fashioned for us by our Creator. He is the only one who has the right to tell me who I am and what I’m called, gifted and anointed to do.
Romans 8:29 MSG
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t measure a new life with an old measuring stick!
The old standard of measuring ourselves against each other is done with. We’ve been called out to live by a new standard: the standard of Christ. Everything about our new life is modelled after the life of Jesus and he is, as this scripture put it, the original and intended shape of our lives. I don’t have the time and energy to try to keep up with the standards the world tries to set for me. I’m leaning into Jesus to see my life from his perspective and focus on becoming the person he desires me to be.
Nothing else matters any more… Jesus is everything.
He is the truth that fights against every lie we have believed about ourselves.
He is the grace that empowers us to live free from our past.
He is the peace that settles over us and dispels all fear and anxiety.
He is the love that makes its home in our hearts and heals our deepest wounds.
And it’s only by steps of faith that we can learn to embrace this new standard of living and apply it to our everyday lives. It’s not always easy to learn how to walk out our new life of faith because it is so counter-cultural and pushes against everything we’ve ever learned. But we were not called out to blend in, we were called to stand out as living representations of hope to the world around us.
In Jesus, every inaccurate label that has defined my life is stripped away and I am set free to live in the truth of who He says I am. Christ is my new anchoring point, and the firm and solid foundation on which I can begin to rebuild my life. He is my stability and my security as I learn what it means to live life to the fullest in every area.
Brenda Drost is a Pastor and Speaker who is known for her warm smile and passionate preaching style. Whether she is teaching at her home church or out on the road, she loves to bring challenging messages that actually help people live out their faith in the real world. She and her husband live on their farm in the beautiful Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada where they have raised their four children. Find out more about Brenda here.