Identity Crisis!

Posted Apr 8th, 2020

Identity Crisis!

An identity crisis!

The number one health problem in the developed world, at least before this whole C-19 deal, is anxiety… and likely higher now due to all the fear mongering created by the medical system and propagated through mass media, the sickness resulting from that, the loss of jobs, collapsing economy, etc., etc.

So how can we be free from the anxiety, and the depression and the fear that so plagues us? Well the answer is the truth, that’s what sets us free! NOW, I get that your eyes have just likely rolled, that you’re thinking “that’s just a pad answer…” and if you’re still reading you might just be thinking; “ok, what’s your version of the truth?” And here’s the challenge, it’s not an intellectual ascent like something that you can read off a screen, IT’S A WAY OF LIVING! And there’s really only 2 ways/2 directions/2 orientations of the heart.

You can live above-down-inside-out, or you can live outside-in. Some might say, “I live from the inside-out,” but if what’s on the inside is not from above it’s still ultimately outside-in.

It’s our heart/soul (mind, will and emotions) that drives us and it will be fed from above or it will be fed from what we can see. We will be living from a place of fullness with a desire to pour out the good in us into the lives of others or we will be striving to be filled up. Abundance or scarcity. Security or uncertainty. We will walk by faith or by sight.

So, the real question is, where’s your heart at?

On a global level, we are currently submitting to an outside-in way of living and we are in more bondage, fear and insecurity it seems than at any other time. So many people are without purpose, hope, and worst of all without love. These things are what we are feeling on the inside of us and if we keep looking to the outside to fix what’s going wrong on the inside, we’ll end up with the same sort of life but likely worse because we’ll find that we’ve been let down yet again!

THE ANSWER? THE GOOD NEWS? THE GOSPEL? It is the truth! Only the truth can save us and set us free… if, and only if, we allow it to pervade every part of our life, not just intellectually and emotionally, but physically too! Every part of our life! It starts by having a solid foundation, a sure and steadfast anchor for the soul, to live from a place where we have already been made whole and then working that wholeness out into our physical lives.

The reality is that, when we look at ourselves and our lives, and our efforts, we see that we are corrupt, broken and anything but whole. But that’s outside in… we’re relying on our own senses and experience. What we focus on we tend to manifest in our lives, so again, we must live by faith not by sight. Accepting the goodness and loving kindness of God most clearly demonstrated in Jesus gives us a foundation to live out of, a clean slate, and it’s new every morning! He’s the only one that can fill the God shaped hole in our heart making us whole and then we can engage in a way of doing life that’s all about bringing heaven to every place we see hell here. And we can do that without any fear of not measuring us or getting it perfect because Jesus promised that he’ll finish the good work that he’s started!

Now to the Christian that considers themselves a sinner. Stop! That’s wrong focus, it’s outside-in and demonstrates a low view of Jesus and his resurrection power (the new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit)! While I believe we all (self included) still miss the mark (sin), there’s a big difference between who we are and what we do! If we’ve accepted Jesus as our savior and king, we become the children of God, included, accepted, beloved and cherished no longer looked upon as a sinner (separated, outcast, defiled). If we still consider ourselves to be a sinner, we are confusing identity! There’s a big difference between who we are (disobedient children but children none the less) and who we consider ourselves to be. The reason that’s a problem is that we tend to act out of who we consider ourselves to be, more so than who we truly are. Sin is becoming of a sinner, but sin is unbecoming of a child… that’s why, as a Christian, it’s so important to renew the mind – line our way of thinking of ourselves up with the way God thinks of us by understanding who we are in Christ so that we can more effectively live out of that!

If a sinner is who I am then I’ve not fully accepted the new birth and new life that Christ has bought for and delivered to us by the Holy Spirit. If I find myself in sin… “arh you know, to err is human right!?! This is who I am, this is what I do…” There’s a self justification that’s going on and there’s far less internal compulsion to repent because I’m acting out of who I consider myself to be and sin fits with sinner. If I’m a child of God, and fully accept my true identity as someone holy and set apart for the work of the ministry, and I find myself in sin… “this is not in my true nature, this is not consistent with who I am, I’m out of integrity, I’m repulsed by this.” Intellectually there will be a greater degree of repentance.

There are some who still, knowingly or not, want to justify their sin and do so using 1 Timothy 1:12-17 and specifically verse 15: The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. Let me shed light onto this passage.

1 Timothy 1:12 & 13 Paul is speaking in past tense about himself. Verse 12; has given me strength and judged me faithful. Verse 13; formally I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent, but received mercy because I had acted in unbelief. Verse 14 he transitions to the goodness and loving kindness of God, it was poured into his heart when he accepted Jesus as Lord over all. IF Paul was still talking about himself rather than the effect that Christ had on him, verse 15 would be more accurately be translated; The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I was the foremost. But that’s not the case. Paul transitioned from talking about how bad he was, to how good God is in verse 14 and that’s the main point of verse 15. He uses himself as an example (the foremost example) of how the grace of our Lord can overflow for anyone with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus… no matter a person’s past and how far from God one may think they are! In verse 16 he clarifies this very point; But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an EXAMPLE to those who were to believe… Paul is saying that he is the foremost example of a changed life by the grace of God, that no-one has gone to far, done to much, to be out of reach from God’s goodness and loving kindness. Paul is certainly not saying he’s the foremost of sinners, that would be to say that Jesus isn’t that powerful in changing someone’s life here on earth. Paul is saying, if you want your life to change and to be effective in changing the world around you for the better, here now and today, embrace fully the true you which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

You too can be a letter of recommendation, to be known and read by all (2 Cor 3:2)!

Anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, fear, insecurity, uncertainty…

What’s your identity? Know it and understand it, because that’s what you are living out of!