by Joy Lenton
“Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died; and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy.” — Romans 6:4 TLB
There’s a shift
where identity used to sit,
like an old cardigan,
because it became part
of me, what I always wore.
Now I don’t know what fits
or suits the woman
I have become
since the earth shook, since Sunday,
and a man took
on death to set us free.
Tombs broke open
and people were raised
to life again,
like they had never died,
restored to their
loved ones, their families,
as if they’d
never left them bereft.
And it is whispered
that this world
is just a stepping stone
better, a place of beauty
where we can sit
and think and dream and breathe,
and bask in who we are,
who we were created to be.
Do you ever find yourself accepting the false identity which others bestow on you? It’s all too easy for us to judge one another, isn’t it? Or to be on the receiving end of someone’s misguided, mistaken opinion of us.
Perhaps your parents fail to see you as the quietly confident adult you’ve become, and can’t resist remembering you more as the awkward, gawky, insecure child you once were.
Well now you can exhale, my friend. There are no judgments here. But even better news is to know that God does not judge us by our faults and flaws.
Because once we’ve come to faith in Christ, we are made new in his eyes and seen through the lens of accepting forgiveness and love.
You and I are not our failures and mistakes. Oh no. We are beloved children of God, redeemed through our faith in Christ.
One of the major shifts we experience as people of faith in Christ is the new identity he bestows on us.
Instead of defining ourselves by our upbringing, education, achievements or titles, we are defined in him by our faith, our change of heart and mind, our enlivened spirits, our altered attitudes and behaviour, and our surrendered souls and lives.
Our old ways of being and flawed patterns of behaviour do not serve us well anymore, unless they’ve been passed through the sieve of Scripture, which holds up a mirror to show us our true selves.
Thank you for the gift of a renewed identity. Help us to live it out in ways that please and bring joy to your heart.
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