Before I understood the importance and power of identity and its relationship to my spiritual life in Christ, I drew a sense of significance from the statements “I am liked” and “I am a pastor.”
These were not just simple descriptors, but rather statements of being that represents facets of my source of identity. My desire to be liked and my role as a pastor worked in conjunction to provide for me a foundation.
What I did not understand was that these identity statements were competitors for my allegiance with Jesus. The idea of not being able to serve two masters extends beyond money (Luke 16:13) and to any source of being that you adopt.
Here are other ways our passion for self turns into statements from which we draw significance:
- I am right.
- I am successful.
- I am different.
- I am loyal.
- I am obedient.
- I am happy.
- I am strong.
- I am content.
Which statement(s) resonate with your experience working out your relationship with Christ? Can you think of any additional statements?
Jesus was the word made flesh, and in his flesh he knew exactly what his identity was.
In addition to stating things like “if you have seen me you have seen the Father”, “I an the Father are one”, and affirming that he was the Son of God, Jesus spoke these words to the Jews who questioned him:
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” – John 8:58
Jesus was equating himself with the title spoken by God to Moses in Exodus 3.
From that identity, Jesus’ flesh was secure in his significance and purpose. There was no competition and all his decisions, behavior, and ways of relating to others pointed back to that identity.
Being a disciple is a process of releasing your grip on the fall sources of wholeness apart from God, becoming aware of what they are and what their source is so that the truth of Christ can become the one supplier of significance.
How do your false sources of significance impact your decisions, behaviors, and ways of relating to others? How are you becoming aware of these competitors for your loyalty to Christ?
I work with followers of Christ to energize discipleship, improve relationships, decrease anxiety and facilitate leadership development. I am a certified coach specializing in pastoral leadership, relationships, discipleship, life transitions, and Christian identity. Also, I am the author of the forthcoming book Discovering Your Root: Developing Your Identity in Christ.
Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking at organizations/churches, workshops on marriage/discipleship/leadership, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.