We live in a time of labels. Everyone has to have an identity and we seem to want to group together with people based on certain labels. More than that, we live in times where we are continually standing for “rights” or “privileges” based on those labels.
Some are gender-based.
Some are based on ethnicity or skin color.
Many in our modern culture base their identity on their sexuality.
We describe ourselves by our jobs, or marital status, teams we root for, and more.
It seems that, unless we fit into a certain category, we aren’t accepted by today’s world. It’s almost as if you have to check just the right boxes or you aren’t part of the groups that really matter in modern America.
Here’s my problem, though: I see too many Christians standing for these labels and failing to remember a vital fact. What’s the vital fact?
If you are a Christian, that is your identity!
It is not that I stop being male when I become a Christian, but that’s no longer what defines me. Christ is my identity. (By the way, that means that, while there are different roles that men and women play in both the home and the church, there is zero difference in their worth before the heavenly Father.)
It’s not that I no longer am married; but Christ defines all that I do in that role as a husband, because He is my life. (By the way, that means that I will follow what Christ says and love my wife as He loved the Church, being sacrificial for her in all that I do and not seeking my own way all the time.)
It is not that issues of sexuality do not matter anymore, but I will follow what Christ has to say about even that area of life, because He is my Lord and Master. (By the way, that means that only monogamous heterosexual relations between a husband and wife are acceptable to the one who follows Jesus.)
When Christians start identifying themselves by other things first, those things begin to cloud their thinking. I start to think of myself as a Republican or a Democrat. I start to identify first as an American or a person of another nationality.
But when I remember that I put Christ on in baptism, that I wear His name, and that He is my Lord, that must become the only primary identity I wear.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn