As a Christian, it is sometimes hard to know who we are and what we were created to do. That is why I wrote a blog series about our identity in Christ. This post has been written by Brooke Grangard. To learn more about her, please go to the end of the post to read her bio. Thank you, Brooke, for writing this wonderful piece called: Why It’s Important to Know Who We Are in Christ.
I recently read a story about two baby boys born in Tokyo, Japan in 1953 who were switched at birth.*
One of the babies was the biological son of poor parents but was instead raised in a wealthy family, while the biological son of wealthy parents was raised in poverty. It wasn’t until a DNA test was done 60+ years later that people knew the switch had occurred.
The man who should have been raised by wealthy parents was brought up by a single mother on welfare living in a 100-square foot apartment. He dropped out of school after junior high to work in a factory and help support his family.
At the same time, the other boy went home to a wealthy couple and was raised in a large home with a pond, childhood tutors, and a private education. This boy became the president of a real estate company. The hospital where the mix-up occurred was ordered to pay over $300,000 in compensation to the man who missed out on so many economic opportunities because of his upbringing.
I wonder how this man felt upon hearing the news that he was, in fact, the son of a very rich man. Instead of struggling to make ends meet, he actually had the right to an affluent inheritance.
In so many ways, this story is the story of us all.
Why It’s Important to Know Who We Are in Christ
We are the children of the King of Kings. We have been welcomed into the richest, most powerful, and most loving family of all time. Because of our brother Jesus, we have the opportunity to be reunited with our Father. But do we truly live out of our new reality or do we continue to go through life as if we were orphans?
3 reasons why it’s important to know who we are in Christ
1. It changes who we try to please
When I was in my mid-20s, God began to reveal to me that I was a slave to the opinions of others. I cared so much about what other people thought of me that it had crippled my ability to make some decisions for myself.
Without realizing it, I was spending so much of my day wondering if I was pretty or funny or smart enough and if others were noticing me or not. I desperately wanted the attention of others.
On the surface, you probably wouldn’t have known this about me, but when the Holy Spirit began to open my eyes, I knew I had a problem. Instead of being free to serve others around me, I was a slave to myself. I was living like a pauper even though I was the daughter of the King.
Once I realized that I had this attention addiction, I wanted to get rid of it. I wanted to act out what I knew- not just know who we are in Christ.
I tried to replace those thoughts with positive thoughts.
I tried to ignore the urges to care about what other people thought.
I was determined to dress and act as I wanted to, not as someone else expected me to, but in the end, I failed.
No matter how hard I tried to rid myself of these compulsions, I still had the ache in my heart to be pleasing to those around me.
I went to the woman who was mentoring me at the time and explained what was happening.
She suggested that I begin to take time every day to ask the Lord “how he sees me.” I needed to know who I was in Christ.
I took her up on the advice and every day during my quiet times; I began asking God to show me what he thought of me, what he saw when he looked at me.
God’s work in Me
Over the next couple of months, God spoke to me in all sorts of ways. It was like He was just waiting for me to ask that question.
Most often, He spoke to me through Bible verses that confirmed his love for me. “You are altogether lovely,” (Song of Solomon 4:7) and “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5). These verses were whispered to my heart.
At other times, God wooed me through songs on the radio, or even from lines in a movie. In very special and personal ways, He demonstrated His affection for me again and again.
And you know the amazing part? Once I became so full of God’s love, the desire to have the affirmation of everyone else began to fade away.
I began to notice that I was no longer constantly thinking about what others thought of me. I knew that I was loved, that I was pleasing, that I was cared for by my Father, and that was enough. I was free.
He had gently and lovingly guided me to know who we are in Christ.
Related Blog Posts
- 7-week bible study: Who am I in Christ
- 12 Songs about our Identity in Christ
- 6 who you are in Christ printables
- Who am I in Christ as a woman
2. We can live in Freedom
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free.”
We have already been set free. When we put our trust in Jesus, our shackles fall off, and we can walk away from all that enslaves us, but it’s not until we truly believe this that we can live as free people.
In the year 1863, there was an executive order given by President Lincoln: The Emancipation Proclamation. Because of this new law, the status of 3.5 million slaves in America was changed from slave to that of a free person.
This was indeed life-changing news!
One large complication occurred with it all though.
Some slaves, especially those in areas more removed from the Civil War battles, did not know this law had been passed.
It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that this proclamation was announced and enforced in more remote areas, particularly in Texas. So for nearly 2.5 years, many free men and women were still functioning as slaves.
It’s not simply enough to be freed, we must know and believe that we are free! We must know who we are in Christ.
If we don’t know this, we will continue to live like slaves.
Even though Jesus had freed me from caring about the opinions of others, I was still living like a slave. It wasn’t until I was able to hear the heart of God for myself that I became convinced I was indeed free.
Until we know this truth, we will be at the mercy of every condemning voice that comes along our path.
3. We know who we belong to
If we are accused of being fat or ugly or stupid, we will be prone to believe it unless we know who we are or who we belong to.
If we are still convinced that we are impatient or ungracious or cynical, we have not yet realized that we were made for more.
We were fashioned in God’s image.
He is not ugly or impatient or unkind.
Sure, we can still choose these attributes even after we are Christians, but that is not what defines us.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we read, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away and the new has come.” This is good news!
If we find it hard to believe these words, it’s because we don’t yet know them to be true. We must lean into the love of the Father and let him show us how he sees us. We need to know who we are in Christ.
The Bible says in 1 John 3:2 that when we see Him as He is, we will be like Him. In order to be like Jesus, we need to have a revelation of who He is.
We need our eyes to be opened to see His gentleness, His respect, His sincerity, His kindness, His self-control.
When we experience these characteristics that He possesses, we will want to possess them too.
We will want the Holy Spirit to grow his fruits in our lives.
Inspired for More
I once had a Christian leader who was so loving and patient, so transparent and open.
She invited me into her home and into her life. She shared her family and her meals with me as often as I requested.
She changed my life.
Just like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” I wanted to be like this leader because she inspired me.
It wasn’t in what she taught me through her words; it was in how she loved me and in how she loved others. I experienced what was possible in the life of a Christian, and I wanted it. I asked God to make me like her, and I found that slowly but surely, He has.
To dig deeper into your identity, I highly encourage you to get this bible study. Who am I? Discover who you are in Christ. Click here for more details.
When we know who we are in Christ and believe in the promises that God has for us, we have a firm foundation to stand on.
When we know who we are in Christ changes our entire outlook, from how we view ourselves to how we view others and the world around us.
The more that we know God’s love for us, the more that we are able to freely love others. The more we know who we are in Christ, the more firm we can stand. Once our cups are filled up by our Father then we will be able to overflow to those around us.
We will no longer live as paupers or as slaves, we will live as children of the King who know that they have everything they need in him.
In the comments below, share why you think why it’s important to know who we are in Christ.
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