“You need to learn your identity in Christ.”
Told this almost twenty-five years ago as a new believer, I had no idea how powerful and practical I would soon find the Word of God to be. I was a college freshman, adjusting to a new life with new pressures, yet dealing with the old challenges and lingering struggles of an eating disorder. Whereas today we hear about our identity in Christ in music, sermons, and as the topic of countless books, at that time and in my circles, this was the first I was hearing of such a powerful truth.
As I slowly learned how to see myself as God viewed me and not by what other people thought of me, by my successes or failures, or by my outward appearance, the Word of God began to have a powerful effect on me. Through the renewing of my mind, I began to experience what I’m sure you have as well: being changed from the inside out. We each have a lens through which we see, define, and assign worth or value to ourselves. We can be believers who love the Lord and His Word yet still be shaken by or struggle with the disapproval of people, failure in school or at work, or by what we see reflected in the mirror. There are countless areas of life in which we seek to find security, worth, and value, in other words – our identity – apart from Christ.
I have had the privilege of sharing these truths with others for nearly 20 years, whether 1-1 or in group settings. I have not only experienced the truth of His Word change me and set me free from anorexia and related struggles, but I have also witnessed His Word change and set others free as well. Whether young girls, college students, or women of various age, I have seen the need time and time again to know who we are in Him and to rest in how He sees us.
Lest we confuse these powerful truths from God’s Word as a simplistic “feel good message,” my firm belief is that growing in our knowledge of who we are in Christ is not only important for maturing in Him, but also for our effectiveness in serving Him. As our identity is transferred from success, people’s approval, or any other security we make for ourselves, we find we are more apt to serve the Lord without fear. No longer needing to earn our worth or value, we can make pleasing Him our one and only aim. Indeed, released from the constant search for significance, validation, or affirmation, whether from ourselves or others, we are freed to serve Him unhindered.
Identity in Christ material coming soon!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17