Identity Determines Behavior

I was very impressed recently with the quarterback of the Clemson Tigers. No, it wasn't his playing that most impressed me. It wasn't what he did but what he said.  Trevor Lawrence, the quarterback, when interviewed, said, "I put my identity in what Christ says, who He thinks I am and who I know that He says I am."  Don't miss that last statement in the midst of a profound statement. "...who I know that He says I am." This young man has grasped one of the most critical components for a successful Christian life...and I might add, even a successful life.

The Word of God clearly states, "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." That statement is true on several levels, but clearly, it points out that one will act out of one's own perception of who he is. It is no wonder that the Apostle Paul began most of his epistles with great doctrinal truth after doctrinal truth before he got to the practical application or better yet, the challenge to behavior change in light of these great truths.

For example, in the first three chapters of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul talks about the great truths that establish our identity in Christ. In Ephesians one we learned that "we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places." We are told that "we are accepted in Christ." These are blessings and truths that were established at the point of salvation and they will not change no matter how we may feel. I refer to these truths and blessings as our "position in Christ" or our "identity in Christ."

There are countless truths and blessings that are deposited in our spiritual bank account at the moment that we trust Christ that can't be taken away from us. The reasons that the Apostle Paul often spent time enumerating these truths before he called the believer to action was because he knew, as the Word of God declares, that all human beings will act or behave out of who they perceive or think they are, whether it be true to reality or not.

Now, here is the problem.  Too many Christians never go beyond a shallow depth of Christianity and thus, they live by feelings and false perceptions from others. This leads to much anxiety and spiritual impediments rather than resting in who one is "in Christ."

Equally, if people do not have a proper biblical perception of who they are in Christ, they will do one of two different things. One is that they will attempt to establish a persona of who they want people to think they are. Or secondly, they will live with great insecurities and fear while the whole time trying to hide behind their greatest strength.

We must understand that it is only from a proper biblical perception of our identity in Christ can we live the Christian life with confidence. Without it, one will seek to find a superficial identity (above). Such becomes a problem. There is no rest there.

My challenge to all Christians who may read this is to go deeper and learn who you really are in Christ. Claim this identity by faith. Then live out this identity in Christ to His glory. Enjoy the peace that can only come when one knows that he/she is a friend of God, loved and accepted by Him in spite of one's imperfections. 

This year, let's go deeper and bask in the wonderful position we have in Christ. Let's let others see the quiet strength we have in knowing who we are in Christ... All for His glory and praise.