In our search for significance in this life, we often confuse what we do with who we are. This point of view also affects how we see others as well as ourselves. But, once we reduce ourselves down to nothing more than our occupation or role, we run the risk of being disillusioned when we lose that job or when we no longer are capable of performing it. Many people look forward to retirement, but would not relish the label of “retiree.”
I find “disillusioned” to be an interesting word. We often think of it as a situation when we lose our way and give up hope in something we thought worthwhile. However, when I pull the word apart and leave myself with “dis” meaning “opposite of” and “illusion” meaning something that is not real, it very well could be a good thing to get disillusioned.
Who we are is not the label we assume or is attached to us by others. I don’t even like the introduction expected of people in a 12-step program. “Hi. I’m ______ and I am an alcoholic (or whatever).” I get the intent, but to reduce one’s sense of being down to a condition or an offense could give them a wrong and even hurtful view of themselves.
As we view others, we manage to fall into the prejudice trap when we lump people into categories. That can go way beyond just their ethnic background or race.
- Single Mom
- Gay & Lesbian
- Republican or Democrat, etc.
- Blue Collar
- White Collar
- Jailbird or Ex-con
- Catholic, Baptist, you name it
…and the list goes on.
But, what about that innermost state of who we are? We may not even ponder the thought until we get shaken to our core. What’s left when all the trappings, labels, honors and facades are stripped away?
As a person of faith, I believe that all people have been created in the image of God. It is that identity that was tainted in the Fall of Man. It is that very core of who we are that Christ came to restore by removing the obstacle that kept us separated from God.
But once a person experiences that restored relationship, their true identity has been established in Christ. However, many believers struggle with this as much as the next guy. We fail to recognize the full extent of our birthright in Christ.
Jesus spoke of it and illustrated it in parables as he leveled the playing field for all people. The Apostle Paul spent much of his writings illuminating the followers of Christ as to who they really are. It is an amazing discovery and almost hard to believe. But, what a wonderful mix of freedom and responsibility it is when we truly understand it!
I am so thankful for Neil Anderson who compiled this list of scriptures that reminds us of who we are “in Christ.” I have included links to the Bible Gateway site for the scripture references. If you wish to do further study, it would be good to read these passages in their context. Also, it is a good exercise to read this list over and over until the profound truth found in these passages really sinks in.
WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST
I Am Accepted
John 1:12 — I am God’s child.
John 15:15 — I am Christ’s friend.
Romans 5:1 — I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 — I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 — I have been bought with a price. I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 — I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:1 — I am a saint.
Ephesians 1:5 — I have been adopted as God’s child.
Ephesians 2:18 — I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 1:14 — I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:10 — I am complete in Christ.
I Am Secure
Romans 8:1-2 — I am free forever from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 — I am assured that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:31 — I am free from any condemning charges against me.
Romans 8:35 — I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 — I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:3 — I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 — I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected.
Philippians 3.20 — I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 — I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.
Hebrews 4:16 — I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
1 John 5:18 — I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me.
I Am Significant
Matthew 5:13-14 — I am the salt and light of the earth.
John 15:5 — I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.
John 15:16 — I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
Acts 1:8 — I am a personal witness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:16 — I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17 — I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
2 Corinthians 6:1 — I am God’s co-worker (1 Corinthians 3:9).
Ephesians 2:6 — I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 — I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 — I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 — I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
The bottom line is that my true identity is in Christ. That real “me” who has lived through many occupations and roles, labels and boxes, honors and times of disillusionment and who will go on once this life on earth is over, that’s who I am.