The Power of True Identity

Post a Comment » Written on February 26th, 2014     
Filed under: Reflection
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“Who am I?”  How a person answers this question determines what they believe about themselves.  To answer it wrongly leads to a life of misery, regret, and futility.  However if one answers it correctly they could lead a life filled with hope, joy, & sense of calling.

As we look around us we can witness the horrible fruit of answering this question wrongly.  Our society is experiencing an epidemic of bullying, an increase in self-harm in the form of cutting, eating disorders & suicide attempts, an ever growing substance abuse problem, and utter sexual chaos.

What makes this identity crisis epidemic even more tragic is that it is increasingly affecting those who should be most equipped to answer the “who am I” question: those who are connected to the church!  We are seeing an ever-increasing number of “church kids” making the same choices their “un-churched” friends are making about identity and reaping the horrible consequences listed above.

I believe that this is happening because it appears we have missed a crucial piece in our attempt to help them develop in their faith.  We have taught them the important Bible stories, given them the obligatory legalistic right and wrong lists, BUT have forgotten to instill in them a sense of true identity grounded in grace, holiness, & fruitful discipleship!

Every disciple of Christ must understand that God identifies & defines us according to his everlasting purpose and his will.  Parents, youth leaders, children’s pastors, and all adults in the church need see the importance of helping young people see their true worth in Christ. Many students struggling with their identity show a complete lack of recognition that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by a Creator who deeply loves them.  Even many who are truly disciples of Christ fail to recognize their identity in Christ as seen in Ephesians 2:10; “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

By helping them realize this identity as a child of the King we can help spur them on to holiness, righteousness, and        self-control.  Not because they are able to earn more love from living this way or even accomplish this in their own strength, but rather because the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives equips and empowers them to embrace true identity.

It is partially our job as Shepherds to help them see this identity.  We need to come alongside them and open the scriptures with them as equal partners on a journey to spiritual maturity.  Will you embrace true identity so that others can find it through your example?

 

This excerpt was taken from Rob Townshend – Youth Pastor at Lake Sawyer Christian Church in Black Diamond, WA

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