“I used to own my own business,” was what I would say every time someone asked what I did for a living. In fact, it took years for me to stop using that as my pat answer. I had fallen for the lie that I was what I did. You know what I mean, don’t you? He’s an accountant, she’s a doctor, he’s a waiter, and so on.
This belief wasn’t a problem for me until I wasn’t working outside of the home any longer. When my business closed and I was at home it was as if I had lost my identity. I was no longer a business owner, I was just Lauren who felt an awful lot like a nobody.
I had recently become a follower of Christ but my identity in Christ was not something I understood yet so it played no part in my understanding of who I was.
Later, when I began to understand and while my children were still young I would tell them, “Figure out who you are and live it or others will decide for you.” It was my way of trying to save them from the cruel world of adolescent bullies. They probably didn’t know what I meant at first because they were young, 3rd or 4th grade at the most. But when your family moves out-of-state every couple of years it affords you the opportunity to correct previous social errors. Eventually they learned what that statement meant and they were able to take control of their own identity. They realized who they were in Jesus and they walked it out, ignoring who others may have tried to convince them they were.
So often we fail to understand who we are and we let our career, degree, income, actions, other people or our past define who we are. We are not what we do. Our current situation does not define who we are. Our past does not define who we are. It is not what we do that determines who we are. On the contrary, it is who we are that determines what we do.
If you are a Christian you are alive in Christ right now. As author Neil T. Anderson wrote, “To be alive in Christ means that your soul is in union with God.” It is in this life, His life, that we find our identity.
If you are in Christ you are a saint, a child born of God, a divine masterpiece, a new creation, a citizen of heaven, complete and accepted. Oh I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t feel like a divine masterpiece.” Let me tell you something though. It doesn’t matter how you feel. Our feelings lie! God speaks only the truth.
You ARE God’s masterpiece because He says so in Ephesians 2:10. That means it’s settled. Believe it!
The more we agree with God about our identity in Christ, the more our behavior will reflect our God given identity. We need to simply choose to believe what God says about us.
What others say doesn’t matter. Your feelings don’t matter. The only thing that matters is what God says about you and he calls you a saint (Romans 1:7), His friend (John 15:15), and He even rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
If you are getting the feeling that understanding this is important, you’re right. It’s in understanding and accepting this truth that we find our security. It’s also the lens we see life through, which means it’s the lens we view others through also.
In Colossians 3:11 from The Message Bible we read, “Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. ”
I’m pretty sure Paul would have added the following if he’d had more parchment: thin and fat, pretty and plain, wealthy and poor, young and old, gifted and useless, educated and ignorant, even hip and goofy. I hope you get the point. In Christ, all the labels have been removed.
God has no favorites in His church. (Galatians 2:6) We are all God’s masterpieces. At church next Sunday morning look around and see all of His masterpieces. Let’s learn to treat each other as precious works of art. Not even Michelangelo or Picasso could have come close to creating masterpieces so wonderful.
Marvel over His masterpieces and remember, you are one of them.