“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17

I have a lot to say about #identity. But ultimately, no matter what other people, places, things, or ideas with whom and with which I identify, my ultimate identity is this: I am made new. I am a child of God. I am a follower of the Way of Jesus Christ. I am no longer a slave to sin, but rather a slave to Christ; meaning that I am set free in Christ to do the will of God rather than enslaved to my sinful desires.

Below is something I’ve had in the Notes app on my phone for while. These are declarations that I make because I believe they’re true. They’re also truths that I can forget from time to time. I’m grateful for them, and I’m grateful for faithful friends who remind me of these things. Most of all, I’m grateful to God.

I am not what I own
I am not what I do
I am not what I think
I am not what feel
I am not my opinions, nor am I your opinions about me
I am not the judge of myself or anyone else
I am not any of the names I’ve been called by myself or others
I am not the answer to my own problems
I am not, nor are my efforts, sufficient to save my own soul
I am not enough
I am not what I desire
I am not what I consume, but what I consume certainly affects and shapes me
I am not my sexual orientation
I am not my gender
I am not the stereotypes the encumber my gender
I am not how I feel about my gender
I am not my BMI
I am not my personality type
I am not defined by my worst or best moments
I am not my status
I am not my job
I am not my ministry
I am not my family
I am not my religious convictions
I am not my political ideologies
I am not able to be boxed in by anyone’s simplified categories; or my own
I am not unchanging
I am not fixed
I am not defined by anything or anyone other than the what the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit) has to say about me
God is the only One who gets to tell me who I am; my identity
No other voice or desire, no matter how strong, has any authority over my life
Nothing is stronger than the Gospel of Jesus:
Death could not hold Jesus down
Death cannot hold me down because I am alive in Christ
I am washed
I am redeemed
I am free
I am a child of Abba Father
I am a co-heir with Christ
I am a temple for the Holy Spirit
I am a servant of the King of kings
I am a subject of His Kingdom
I am justified
I am being made holy by the Spirit’s work of sanctification in my life
I have a sure hope in future glory because of these things
I live in a fallen world, with cursed flesh, and the consequences of sin in myself and all around me,
but I have been given a new heart
I am a new creation
This world is passing away. I want to live–I choose to live–for things that are incorruptible and unfading.
I don’t want to just survive this life
I want to thrive in this life while preparing for the eternal life I will enjoy when Jesus returns.
I want my life (my presence, my work, my ministry, my words, my actions, my relationships, my attitudes – all of it) to matter
But I don’t want to be defined by those things
I want people not to remember what I have accomplished when I’m gone
I want people to overwhelmingly sense that I believed I was loved by God, and
that I reciprocated that love as well as I could in obedient service to Him
and in loving my neighbors as Christ loves them and spreading the good news of God’s kingdom and reconciliation to God through Jesus, new life, hope in this life and the glory to come in the next.

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