Protecting Our Christian Identity
It Is Not So Easy To Give Up Who We Are.
If we want to go to heaven, we must control our identity.

We are told to take pride in who we are, in our identity.
We’re encouraged to remain true to ourselves, and so we resent it when others pressure us into changing some aspect of our core identity.
In fact, the world tells us – and we have become convinced – that such efforts are about control.
And sometimes that’s exactly what it’s about.

Christian Identity
But not necessarily.
Sometimes Our Identity can be stolen.
This causes problems in the real world and puts a financial burden upon us which we did not ask for.
This is true in the real world, but it’s also true within Christianity.
As hard as it is for us to accept, sometimes who we are is not who we need to be, which means that change is sometimes needful.

Christianity is about change.
More specifically, when we commit our lives to Christ, we are agreeing to give up who we are, in one sense, to become who God wants us to be.
Our new life is no longer about ourselves, Jesus tells us to deny ourselves (Matthew 16:24),
and Paul tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of [our minds]” (Romans 12:2).

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Sometimes we tell people to be true to themselves and to follow their dreams.
Sometimes we do this without qualification.

Many people will do what they want to do, but to become a Christian means we must do what God wants us to do.
If we do not attach the qualifications, we’re sending a dangerous message.
Shouldn’t we be true to Christ instead?
And shouldn’t we be pursuing God’s plan and purpose for our lives?

Maybe you’re thinking that these two are not mutually exclusive.
We can be true to ourselves AND to Christ.
We can have our own dreams while also pursuing God’s plan and purpose.
To some extent, this is true, but only to the extent that our identity and our goals are subservient to the will of God.
Also remember that circumstances and environment have a huge part in who we become.

It happens when we learn to be happy when we serve God.
It happens when we get satisfaction from helping others.
It happens when we feel a sense of pride for sharing the gospel with someone.
It really matters if they accept and obey the gospel.
And it happens if we can mentor and teach these people to become more like Christ.

This doesn’t mean that if you like sports, you have to stop liking sports.
Sports have a place in our world.
We just cannot allow sports to take over our number one goal.
If you’re an environmentalist, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your passion for the environment.
If you want to hug a tree, go ahead and do so.
But check for ants and other bugs before you do so.

This doesn’t mean that you must start wearing some kind of Christian costume.
Certain religious groups wear specific clothing of which the world identifies them.
Certain clothing, the way they wear their hair, they way they behave in public, etc.
When we are told in Galatians 3:27 that we should put on Christ in our lives, it does not mean wear it like a garment.
It means we put it on as a culture of obedience to Christ.

This isn’t about how you do your hair.
Mohawks and spikes may have a place, but it is usually done to get attention or express rebellion.
Even though some hair styles are radical against the norm, some might question the reasoning for wearing hair in such a provocative way.
There may not be anything wrong with getting tattoos, but the attitude and reasons for getting them might be.

This is not about what kind of music you listen to.
We all know that some music is nothing more than noise, and listening to foul language or ungodly concepts is something to be avoided.
What we’re talking about here is an attitude of total, unwavering self-sacrifice.
It’s about not being insulted at the mere mention that we may have to change who we are.
It’s about not feeling resentful when the gospel convicts us of changes we do have to make.  

It’s about having such trust in God’s wisdom and His plan for us.
It’s about loving Him so much because of everything He’s done for us.
It’s about the fact that we’re willing to do anything, to give up anything, to change anything to please Him and glorify Him.
That’s the attitude we need to have.

If this ”giving up of self” insults, bothers, and angers you to your core, then the fact is, you do not yet understand biblical Christianity.
And that’s fine, so long as you recognize the conflict between your desires and the Scriptures.
As long as you see a value in following the Scriptures, and do so.
But you must also be willing to be challenged, to fight the battle, to press on.

Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay old of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”.

If we truly believe in and trust God, we have to understand that God’s original design for us is better than the world’s expectation of us.
Christianity is about self-sacrifice,
Yes – and that attitude is critical – but more importantly, it’s about achieving our full potential (per God’s original design) as children of the Almighty Creator of the universe.

When we refuse to give God full control and sway over our lives, we’re robbing Him.
But we’re also robbing ourselves.
And yet the world and sin have stolen you from God and redefined you.
Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways.
Oftentimes, who we are is who the world has trained us to be.

Philippians 3:7-8 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

God made you.
You are His.
It is your choice to determine how you are going to live.
If we want to go to heaven, we must conform to what God wants us to be.
So do you have a Christian Identity in this world?
If not, let us help you to get one.

By Carey Scott

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