If you were to look at the About section of my Facebook profile, this is what you would see:
- Owner, J. Berry & Company
- Studied Accounting at Bob Jones University
- Lives in Roswell, GA
- From Collierville, TN
- Married to Cheri Berry
Those five bullet points tell you some facts about me, but they don’t tell you who I am.
I also have two adult sons. I love being a husband, a father, and now a father-in-law. I like to work out at the gym, play golf and ski. But I still haven’t told you who I am.
A couple of years ago I discovered that I enjoy writing. I also lead a Bible study group and I’m involved in my local church ministry. My father was a deacon in the church where I grew up and my mother sang in the choir and taught children’s Sunday school. I have a brother, two sisters, in-laws, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews and I’ve had two Golden Retrievers named Sammy. All of that information tells you about me. But that’s not who I am.
After you strip away all of the things that you do, the places you go, the people you’re related to, the church you attend, your job, your career, your hobbies, your sexual orientation, your political persuasion, who are you? What is your identity?
The book of Genesis tells us that we (mankind) were created in the image of God. We were created in righteousness with the ability to reason, the capacity to love, and the freedom to make choices. God breathed his very own breath into Adam and gave him life. At his core, Adam’s identity was “created by God in God’s own image.”
But Adam’s choice to disobey God corrupted the image of God within himself, and he passed his corrupted image on to all his descendants. Romans 5:12 tells us, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all sinned.”(ESV) Our identity is still “created by God in God’s own image”, but also “corrupted by sin.”
But that identity can be changed. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (ESV) Through faith in Jesus Christ, our identity is no longer “corrupted by sin." Our identity is changed to “hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3).
What is your identity? Are you hidden with Christ in God? If so, be who you are. Let your identity in Christ drive everything that you do.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10, ESV)