Where do our identities lie? What’s the most important part about you? And what’s the most important part about you in the eyes of God?
If you’re a follower of Christ, I can pretty easily tell you that your identity is simple. It’s found in 1 Peter 2: 9-10. It says:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are a people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Our greatest identity is that we once were not and now we are. I think sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the details. And the details are good! They define our individuality before God. But sometimes we put so much weight on the details of ourselves that we lose sight of the biggest part of our identity. I’ve heard so many people talk about the things that they think define their walk with God. They go down the list. But our identity is not in our style or season. Our identity is not even in our faith.
Our identity is in the OBJECT of our faith. It’s in Jesus Christ and Him alone, and the fact that we “now have received mercy.” And every follower of Christ has that in common, regardless of how your faith “appears” to the body of believers. This isn’t to say that the way you follow Jesus is not important. Small differences make us GREAT in the eyes of God! He values the individuality of you and your walk with Him. But the “culture of Christianity” has somehow found a way to make these details divisive among us.
Worshiping our Lord together as a body of Christ is our greatest joy. Rejoicing together that we have received mercy. And it is also our joy to be able to know the Lord intimately. We should support each other in that! We shouldn’t be criticizing those individual intimacies just because they look different than ours do. Because if you think about it, in reality all followers of Christ fit into that main identity of “have received mercy” right? And there are more than plenty of people who haven’t received that mercy yet! So why do these details of how our faith looks so often cause us to stumble? There are people who don’t even know our God! We can’t keep letting these details define us because if we do, eventually they begin to divide us.
Because in the end, we are all brothers and sisters, and we are all heirs to the gift of life through Christ. Our uniqueness is special to Him, and we have to start celebrating that in others too.