What’s really lying at the core of who you are? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Identity is all in the news now. We have the news about what Bruce Jenner did and of course we have the SCOTUS ruling and then we have this going on in Hollywood, such as the movie Selfless coming out, which I will admit that last one does look intriguing. It’s not a shock that we have questions over identity and the more society normalizes different lifestyles, the more people will start to wonder. What about Christians? Who are Christians today?
I encourage Christians to always remember that who they are is who they will be before the throne of God someday. Non-Christians real identity is who they could be before the throne and if they become Christians, they can reach that potential. If not, they actually become what I prefer to call uncreations. When we speak about who we are today, we need to be careful and ask if what we’re saying about ourselves is what’s going to be at the throne of Christ. It’s far too easy to identify ourselves with the old creation instead of realizing that we are a new creation. We forget the advice of Paul to forget what is behind and strive to what is ahead.
I use the story I’ve heard about David by Donatello. When asked how he managed to turn a slab of material into David, he is said to have responded that he just went to it and took away everything that wasn’t David. I mainly want to look at the point of why I am sharing this kind of story. In the process of sanctification, God is doing the same thing with us. God is taking away everything that is not us. We are meant to be a living sacrifice on the altar renewing our minds. (Note that we renew our minds. God does not do that for us. We have our own role to play.)
The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep jumping off the altar, especially when they experience that little thing we don’t really like, pain.
But unfortunately pain is often the only way we change and if we do not learn to bear up under it, we will often just keep repeating the same lessons. C.S. Lewis compared it to God moving into our houses when we’re more like quaint little cottages not realizing that he intends to live in a palace.
If you’re a Christian, you need to realize that your true identity lies in Christ. It does not lie anywhere else. Soren Kierkegaard had a saying that went “And now Lord, with your help, I will become myself.” This also means that in reality, who we are does in fact turn out to be good. We just have a whole lot of work to do to get to that point. Sanctification is never easy. It’s not mean to be a peaceful and painless process. It hurts because we tend to cling so much to the wrongs in our lives thinking that they define us. They don’t.
If we submit though, and we learn to do that daily, we will have a beautiful end product.