Written by: Katie Nowak
Our identity is not something we can achieve but the very thing we receive. We cannot achieve it because achieving our identity is not possible. The truth of this is extremely opposing to what the world seems to believe though.
We are taught that by getting good grades we are a good student therefore when we achieve that we label ourselves a good student. We are told that being the star athlete is the identity we want because that seems to be the identity that is praised. Or better yet, we want to be seen as the “good Christian” because the “good Christian” is the person that does the right things and achieves a moral standing above the rest. Do any of these examples sound familiar? I’m sure they do and I’m sure a few more are running through your mind right now too.
As I think back over the past eight or so years of my life my mind is exhausted at the thought of how true all of those statements above were in my life. For years I tried to be the “good Christian”, the good student, and the best person on the team (besides track…I knew I was never excellent at that). Anyways. I tried to achieve my identity because I wanted to be seen and I wanted to be known. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? To be seen. To be known. To be noticed by others.
The reality of this life we are living though is that our identity isn’t about us and what we can do. Our identity is solely about God and pointing to His Kingdom. This being because our identity is a child of God who was created for a purpose; that purpose being to point others to Christ.
Awhile back I had someone tell me something that has stayed in the back of mind. They told me that God doesn’t need me to carry out His will. God is fully sovereign over everything and if He wants something done, He will make it happen. But God has chosen me to help carry out His will on earth and to reflect His image to others. He has chosen me, and He has chosen you. He has stamped us with His image, called us very good, and invites us into His will and His advancement of the Kingdom on earth.
Thinking that we are able to achieve this invitation and this identity is thinking that we are enough. It’s thinking that we have the strength to move mountains and the ability to change the world by ourselves. Friends let me tell you that you are not enough and that is okay because God has stamped you with His image and calls you His. He has given you the identity that will allow you to move mountains and to change the world because the identity He has given you is limitless. As image bearers of God, we are mighty because we recognize that God is greater than anything we could achieve.
The bottom line is that our strength will always fail us. Our man-made identities will always fail us. We are broken, sinful people who are bound to mess up. The perfect student will get a not so great grade. The start athlete will miss a shot or miss a play. The “good Christian” will become arrogant and prideful but being an image bearing child of God will never be something that is taken away. That is the one thing we cannot mess up because God is forgiving, loving, and gracious.
The Lord has offered the label of His child, will you receive it?