A Case of Mistaken Identity

David here. Often it’s easy to get lost in the many demands that life places on us.  All of us have different roles that we occupy ourselves with.  Many people are shaped and defined by the roles they play in life.  Some people have accepted that this is ‘just the way it is’.  Even William Shakespeare in As You Like It once commented

All the world’s a stage and all the men and woman merely players. They have their exits and their entrances.

While I like this quote, are we really just merely players?  Is that all there is?  Is there nothing that really defines us, gives us meaning and hope? 

I have many roles – husband, father, brother, son, friend, worker, writer, poet, butcher, baker and candlestick maker.  Well – the last three I made up but you get the idea.  Which of these roles define me?  Which role gives me meaning and purpose?  Actually they all do.  If I’m really honest, like most men – I let my work define me way too much to the point where it starts to get really counterproductive. Changes at work start to alter the way I look at things – my attitude and my self esteem.  It shouldn’t be like this – it can make me very grumpy and difficult to live with.

So I’m embarking on a journey to re-discover what defines me.  I’ve always known the answer –  it starts with who created me, for a purpose, for a reason, and to give my life meaning, hope and destiny.  That someone is God.  Because God created me and you – he is the one who defines us and gives us our identity and he is the only one who we should let define us. 

This is what I know about the one who defines me and you:

  • We are loved ~ 1 John 3:3
  • We are accepted ~ Ephesians 1:6
  • We are children of God ~ John 1:12
  • We are Jesus’ friend ~ John 15:14
  • We are joint heirs with Jesus ~ Romans 8:17
  • We are united with God ~ 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • We are redeemed and forgiven ~ Colossians 1:14
  • We are complete in Jesus Christ ~ Colossians 2:10
  • We are free from condemnation ~ Romans 8:1
  • We are new creations in Christ ~2 Corinthians 5:17
  • We are chosen by God, holy and loved ~ Colossians 3:12
  • We are anointed, and sealed by God ~2 Corinthians 1:21
  • We are God’s co-workers ~2 Corinthians 6:1
  • We have direct access to God ~ Ephesians 2:18
  • We are chosen to bear fruit ~ John 15:16
  • We can always know the presence of God ~ Hebrews 13:5

Believe it or not – that’s just the short list!.  If you want to see more have a look at the Father’s Love Letter to You.

I think we need to regularly choose to believe what God says about us – particularly about our identity and how he has defined us. Too often we are living out a mistaken identity.  To live an effective life we need to know and believe who we are in Christ. Why? Because God wants to do more with us in our lives than we can ever imagine – he designed and defined us for this purpose.  It’s about belief but it’s also about freedom – if we let God define us we are free.  If someone else or something else defines us then we become slaves.

As for me – I have a lot to learn here.  I need to stop being defined by things, particularly my work, and remember who defines me.  I’ve known this in my head for a while, but what I have realised lately is that this is not enough. It’s a  journey of the heart. I hope after a while people will notice a difference.  Here’s my reflection on what God says about my identity and what defines me. 

Chosen

I am chosen
I am free
You defined me
For eternity
Free now forever

I am loved
I am your child
You defined me
With just your smile
Free now forever

I am redeemed
I am restored
You defined me
My Sweet Lord
Free now forever

I am yours
You are mine
You defined me
For all time
Free now forever

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