By: Amy Dalke
I was sitting at my kitchen table one afternoon, going through the mail, when an envelope addressed to my stepdaughter, Kathryn, caught my eye. It seemed odd, since she was in college in Dallas, and she had historically not had her mail sent to our house.
The return address on the envelope was from a town in Arizona. And I’ll just lay it out to you straight: I opened her mail. I did. You probably respect the privacy of your children. I don’t. At least not when it raises my suspicions. (Okay: I tend to dramatize a matter. Keep that in mind when I tell you my initial thought was that this envelope held a warrant for her arrest in Unnamed City, Arizona.) (Not that she is ever in trouble. Ever. But I was convinced this could be the one time.)
Turned out I was wrong. (As Larry told me I would be.) The Arizona authorities were not after Kathryn.
Instead of a warrant, a brand new fake ID dropped out of the envelope. (Because that’s so much more comforting.) Though incidentally, the little gangster who made this new fake ID had great customer service.
When I called my sweet stepdaughter (she really is sweet) to let her know I just received her “package”, she tripped over herself a little as she delivered her sales pitch. According to Kathryn, being nineteen was boring, and if she was going to enjoy college life at all, she actually needed a fake ID. I mean, this acquisition was almost as necessary as her textbooks. (Besides, everyone else had one.)
And so the story goes.
Kathryn is older now, and has a legitimate Texas driver’s license that indicates her true twenty-one years of age. Her evil stepmother kept the fake one in a safe place (the trash), but Kathryn could have carried around a fake ID for two years, one that identified her as someone she was not. The picture on the front was true enough to her own, but it had a different name, age, and address.
I never had a fake ID that falsified my age. Nevertheless, I am still a lot like Kathryn. Instead of carrying a counterfeit card in my purse, though, I carry it around in my soul.
For years I wore this false identity like an old comfortable sweater, and lived as though my value was wrapped up in my appearance; in my performance; and to some degree, in my possessions.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about: you wake up in the morning, and feel the suffocating weight of the world’s measuring sticks when you look into the mirror. “If only you were thinner, prettier, or had thicker hair, life would be better. You would be…worth something.”
Or maybe you’re on a constant pursuit to keep up with that infamous Jones family, believing that if you could just have what they have…if you could afford to live where they live…and go where they go…then you would be okay.
Can I tell you something?
You are already okay. You are already enough. Just like you are.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, your value is not measured by the world’s yardstick; your worth is not weighed on any scale of achievement, nor is it reflected in your bathroom mirror.
Your worth is measured by the cross of Christ, and your true identity is defined by His life. Period.
And as you draw closer to God, through Christ, you become more fully yourself – who you were made to be!
You’ve probably heard the term, “identity in Christ” time and again, but what does it mean…really? (Frankly, it sounds a bit too high-minded for me, and it certainly doesn’t look as comfy as my go-to sweater!)
Yet by the grace of God, this identity is more true about you and me than any you’ve tried to wear in the past.
So how do we get to the point where we shred those fake ID’s (or quit wearing the old sweater), and start living into the truth of our identity in Christ?
First, ask yourself: “How do I define myself?”
Do your answers reveal a dependence on external sources of worth (your career, your roles, your appearance, your skills, your financial/material resources)?
Second, begin to learn the truth about who you really are.
Your story doesn’t end with this short list; it’s not even close to exhaustive. (I just wanted to get you started on a hunt for the truth.)
|Your True Identity Markers||Scriptural Proof|
|You are the chosen, adopted child of God.||Ephesians 1:4-5|
|You are redeemed & forgiven.||Colossians 1:14|
|You are holy.||Colossians 3:12|
|You are dearly loved.||Colossians 3:12|
|You are complete in Christ.||Colossians 2:10|
|You are free from the Law of sin & death.||Romans 8:2|
Knowing who you are in Christ gives you the confidence to be truly yourself. When we live into the truth of who we really are, we begin to discover the emptiness of the counterfeit alternatives.
Because your worth is not weighed on one of these scales…
It hangs on cross beams instead:
Go be who you really are today.