Just a quickie. This past Sunday, in our Growth Group, we talked about identity and where it comes from. Who are you and how do you get that identity? The authors of our study contend that identity is not something we make up for ourselves, but rather it is bestowed upon us. In other words, I am known by the things other people identify in me, not by some identity I construct for myself. As believers, we are given an identity in Christ by grace. It is not something we make up for ourselves, but rather God bestows our identity in Christ to us and the body of Christ sees this and confirms it in us. This is how we know our Spiritual gifts, this is how we know our role in the gospel community – it is confirmed by the Holy Spirit, through the body of Christ.
Practically, this means we must not allow our past to label us, we must not allow the history of our relationships define how we relate to our brothers and sisters in the church. The Bible should be what defines how I relate to people, not my history with people. If we allow our history, our past relationships, our experiences, good or bad, to define us, we are not allowing the grace-given identity which God has prepared for us in Christ to shine forth. We must do as Paul says in Philippians 3:13, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Don’t allow what you’ve done in the past to hold you captive. Take a hold of the grace-given identity which God has given you as his child, his new creation!