We live in a world of labels. Society tells us that we need to be clearly defined based on everything imaginable. Black, white, Republican, Democrat, Independent, liberal, conservative, rich, poor, middle class, and virtually every other label that we can put on ourselves and one another get thrown around freely.
It’s important to understand that our true identity has nothing to do with the color of our skin, the way that we vote (or have voted) in elections, or the amount of money that we have in our bank accounts. It’s even more important that you understand that society does not get to identify you.
When you devote your life to Christ, you no longer find your identity in the things of this world. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with having an idea of who you are in the natural realm, but it does mean that you don’t let the labels that culture wants to put on you be the ultimate defining factor in your life. You can certainly be involved in supporting a politician, especially if you find one who espouses Godly values. However, your ultimate allegiance isn’t to a donkey or an elephant; it is to the Lamb of God.
Who are you in Christ? Maybe you’re not even completely sure of the answer to that question. Perhaps you thought you knew the answer, but the things that you’ve endured in your life have left you wondering. Wherever you’re at in your walk with the Lord, it’s crucial that you know who you are in Him.
If you’ve found yourself in an identity crisis, let today be the last day of that. God’s Word gives us plenty of insight about who we are in Him.
Changing The Dialogue in Your Mind
John 1:12-13 (TPT)
But those who embraced him and took hold of his name he gave authority to become the children of God! He was not born by human parents or from natural means, or by a man’s desire, but he was born of God.
When you’re put in a position where you have to introduce yourself, what words come to mind? The answer to this question really speaks to your perception of your own identity, so take a moment and really think about it. Obviously, you start with your name, but what do you say after that? Do you open with a job title? Perhaps you’ve worked hard to become successful in your chosen career field. If so, that’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe you aren’t that focused on your career, so instead, you introduce yourself as someone’s husband, someone’s wife, someone’s parent, or by another relationship that you have in your life.
“Hello, my name’s Joe, I’m Mary’s husband.” “Nice to meet you. My name is Mary, I’m a doctor.” Those types of introductions aren’t wrong, but it’s important to understand that (to a certain degree) they speak to our inner dialogue.
No, we’re not saying that you should walk up to people you’ve never met and say, “My name is Sam and I’m a child of God!” As true as that statement is, you could end up startling people who haven’t accepted Christ as their Savior.
Instead, looking at how you would introduce yourself speaks to how your inner dialogue works. It’s vital that you don’t automatically associate your identity with the things in your life that didn’t work out the way you wanted them to. If you identify yourself as a failure, a divorcee, an ex-con, or some other negative trait, you need to work on your inner dialogue.
Scripture declares that you have been given the power to call yourself a child of God. When you embrace that title, you understand that God does not see you through your shortcomings, and therefore, you shouldn’t either.
Throwing Down the Label Maker
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (TPT)
Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. And God has made all things new, and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God.
Have you ever used a label maker? They’re incredibly useful when you’re trying to organize things in your home, garage, or storage unit. When you can put a label on a box or another container that says that’s in it, you don’t have to bother actually opening it up to find out more. If you’re into organizing, label makers are one of the greatest inventions ever.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that pushes labels on people. Since we’re a part of the culture that we live in, we often put labels on people, including ourselves. Unlike the labels on the storage containers in your garage, these labels aren’t good. While a label maker can help save time when you’re organizing because you don’t have to look inside to see what’s there, that’s the exact opposite of what God wants us to do when we’re evaluating others and ourselves.
Bucking the trend of what’s going on in the world we live in is a Scriptural concept. Look at these words that Paul wrote to the Roman Church:
Romans 12:2 (TPT)
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you life a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.
Labels are one of the opinions of our culture. Stop imitating culture! When you allow the Holy Spirit to totally transform how you think, you will no longer label yourself according to your failures. This allows you to discern God’s will, which is His purpose for you. The key to finding your identity in Christ is to stop imitating a culture that labels you based on its own ideas.
Don’t be a label maker; be a label breaker.
Romans 9:20-21 (TPT)
But who do you think you are to second-guess God? How could a human being molded out of clay say to the one who molded him, “Why in the world did you make me this way?” Or are you denying the right of the potter to make out of clay whatever he wants? Doesn’t the potter have the right to make from same lump of clay an elegant vase or an ordinary pot?
Do you consider yourself an ordinary pot in a world full of “elegant vases?” If so, don’t feel bad. Most of us feel bad when we compare ourselves to other people. Unfortunately, living in the social media age means that we’re living in a constant state of comparison. When you scroll through your newsfeed, you probably see people who live in bigger homes, drive newer cars, and go on more expensive vacations than you.
However, if you could look on their newsfeed, you’d probably see the same thing. People who bigger homes than they have, driver nicer cars than they drive, and go on more expensive vacations than they do.
Comparison is the thief of joy. That’s why we’re not supposed to find our identities in how we stack up to others. Instead, we are who we are in Christ Jesus.
A Closing Prayer:
Father, thank You for giving me the right and the power to be a child of Yours. I know that You have chosen me, saved me, and that You are keeping me. Help me to stop comparing myself to others and labeling myself the way that society does. In Christ’s name, Amen.