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Becoming Who We Are

Diving right in: When we accept Christ as our Savior, our identity is changed, and we take on His righteousness. We’re a new creation, washed clean by the blood of Christ. I don’t know about you, but the idea of being the righteousness of Christ can be a little confusing when I’m very much aware of how I am in the day to day. (Example: been a little cranky the past couple days.)

When I look in the mirror I don’t think, “Man, Candace, you’re looking righteous today!” (Usually, it’s, “Where’s that tweezers?” Don’t want to one-up my son on chin hair.) But yet that’s what God’s Word says. So what gives?

The following verse sheds some light on that concept.

“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14, NIV

Basically, we are becoming who we already are. Crazy, huh?!! Through Christ we are “perfect,” and God is now making us “holy.” In case it’s still clear as mud, I have a real life illustration of this - me! Let me explain…

I used to be 13. I did. I thought like a 13 year old, acted like one, and looked like one. Now I’m an adult - there’s no getting around it. The dates on my birth certificate and driver’s license testify to this. In fact with every passing day that fact is further driven home. I’m not a young adult or barely an adult, I’m deep into adulthood, and there’s no undoing it.

Here’s the rub - after all these years, I still don’t always FEEL like an adult. I definitely don’t always ACT or THINK like one either. Sometimes I act like that teen who existed so long ago. Out of my sisters, I’m the one who was the “teaser” and deserved every spanking I got. For the longest time I had two halfmoon shaped scars on my face - one on each cheek. Two of my sisters had left their mark when they felt I crossed the line. One scratched me and the other bit me. Fortunately for me, they’ve outgrown scratching and biting, because, well,... I haven’t outgrown teasing.

Even now, I sometimes have to tell myself: “Stop teasing - you’re being annoying.” Then I do it just one more time. My kids are going to have to deal with annoying people, so I’m teaching them life skills…at least that’s what I tell myself. (Thankfully, they are past the biting and scratching stage, too.) Anyway, can we agree that maturity and adulthood don’t always coincide the way they should?

So I’m an adult still learning to be one. I’m becoming who I already am. That spiritual truth is starting to make sense now, isn’t it? When we become a follower of Christ, it’s similar to that. When God now looks at us, He sees Jesus. At the same time God invites us to enter into a process with Him in which we relearn how to think and act. Our hearts, thinking, and actions are transformed to look more like Jesus and less like the “flesh” they were previously trained under. By the way, this process won’t be completed on this side of heaven.

Like maturity, this process doesn’t just magically occur. (Boy, would that be nice. I’d take that magic wand and…) Growth and change happen more quickly and easily if we submit to God’s Truth and leading. Go to any high school reunion and you can see this spiritual truth played out in our physical world - some people haven’t grown up as much as others. There are people who have been believers for a long time but don’t have much to show for it. Others are very new to the faith but grow like weeds because they have embraced the Lord and His work in their lives. Willingness helps. Both are seen as righteous, but they aren’t both benefiting from living out of it.

Can you imagine me going around claiming to be 13? That would be ridiculous, and it would drive my family a little crazy. But do you still identify yourself as a 13 year old spiritually - just a “poor sinner?” Don’t think that it matters? Here’s why it’s so important - we live out of who we believe we are. Our identity propels our behavior. We also empower what we focus on. Do you want to focus on your sin or your Savior?

But I get it, I act like a teen occasionally - I still sin and make mistakes. What do we do when we identify as righteous but still sin? First, don’t worry, I haven’t kicked repentance to the curb and decided to live in a state of denial, thinking I’m perfect in title and deed. Here’s what repentance might look like if we identify with Christ:

Lord, I’m so sorry for what I did. Thank you for the forgiveness I have through Christ. Thank you that my mistakes don’t define who I am - You do. Please help me to make the changes I need to to keep it from happening again. Thank You that You’re changing me to become more like Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Be honest with yourself. Have you embraced your new identity in Christ? And are you allowing God to transform you into who you really are?

God calls us righteous - if He identifies His children that way, it’s probably okay if you do too. But don’t forget the last part of that verse - seek God’s help and power to become who you already are in Christ. (Spiritual adulting, here we come!)


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