The question of purpose and identity rings in every human’s mind. “Who am I?” “Why do I behave the way I do?” We’ve all thought about it at one point or the other.
I’m not here to deliver steps to discovering answers; instead, I’d like to question the question.
Should the question be “Who am I?” or “Who am I in Christ?” Is it about why you behave as you do or how you can grow so that Christ’s character is fully formed in you?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to dispute the fact that we all have unique characteristics, gifts, and quirks that make us who we are. But the truth is, even when we’re showing forth the fruits of Christ, we show them in unique and different ways.
I’m talking of our core identity, the one we understand has been subject to sin since the beginning of time. Should we accept that as who we are? God forbid!
I had to deal with something recently where I watched myself react with disgust toward another human because they showed forth characteristics my nature could not abide by.
I could have accepted that it was my nature and chosen to run away from that circumstance to avoid the disgust. But this was a human. A human Christ loves with all of Him. Did I have the right to turn my nose at this person simply because it’s my nature?
No! Just, No! Because that is not who I am in Christ. In Christ, my heart does not choose whom to love; my heart should not accommodate those thoughts.
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer.17:9.
And because I knew that and was aware that the goal is to have Christ fully formed in me through the work of the Holy Spirit, I could not accept that version of myself. It did not define who I am in Christ.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Rom. 8:7.
That’s where the difference lies. The difference between “Who am I?” and “Who am I in Christ?”
To answer the “Who am I” question, I pay attention to my behaviour, the things I like, the things I do not like, my feelings, and whatever my heart suggests I should be, and I accept it as who I am. I let that define my identity.
To answer the “Who am I in Christ” question, I look unto Christ. I look through His word for how He defines me, the characteristics that define Him, and I seek His face continually, beholding Him until I become as He has purposed.
Pursuing an answer to “Who am I?” means you settle for less. You accept what your heart, which knows only sin, tells you; you agree with the definition the world gives to the things you feel, but ironically, you never discover who you really are.
It is in the process of becoming like Christ you discover who you are. That step-by-step sanctification process where you look to God’s word to see what He has called you and then remain at the throne of Grace for the moulding process. Rom.8.11 says,
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
Picture the essence of Christ, how vast He is, and what He has in His mind when He thinks of you, and covet it. Pursue it greedily in the place of prayer because that’s the best version of you.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John.1.12-13.
If you wonder why reading God’s word is essential, one reason is that it helps you understand who Christ intends you to be. Then, when you know this and catch yourself showing forth what’s not in line with His word, go and sit at His feet and refuse to leave until Christ is fully formed in you.
God bless you as you make a deliberate effort to pursue his ways.
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Author: Chidinma Joanna.