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The topic of identity seems to be coming up repetitively in my life as of late. I decided it was time to write about it. We all have things we identify with. We all have things we use to label and describe. We all have specific traits and characteristics that describe us. We often find a sense of identity in those things. Similar people will often speak that over us. We call people names. We give people identities. Unfortunately our words often have power. I am so guilty of this. I often in anger or resentment will speak out a negative identifying characteristic onto someone else or even myself thus giving a false identity. I often falsely identify myself and others.
When I say I am white, I can easily make my identity as being a white person. When I say I am bipolar, I can easily make my mental health condition my identity. I often hear people who struggle with homosexuality do this to themselves. I am gay. Or I see someone who is alcoholic do this by saying I am alcoholic. I hate these phrases. For when we are in Christ, when we make our identity in Christ we are a new creation. We are children of God. We may have characteristics about us but those characteristics are not our identity. If you struggle with alcohol addiction your identity is not that you are an alcoholic. Rather you are a child of God who struggle with the temptation of alcohol. If you struggle with sexual temptations you are not just a sex addict rather you are a child of God, a new creation in Christ, called to live a holy life but have the temptation of sexual sin which you battle.
We all have temptations and struggles. We all have things about us that are less than perfect. We all have things we wrestle with. But by being a Christian we are given victory over these things. We struggle but they do not define us. We are victorious in Christ. I think we all need to start identifying ourselves as God’s children and new creations in Christ rather than letting our struggle be our identity.
So much conflict, segregation and discrimination arises from falsely identifying ourselves. For when we make our identity in anything other than Christ the result will always be the same conflict, hate, discrimination and segregation.