I grew up as a preacher’s kid, which often meant new schools and new towns. And just like most middle school aged girls, I never knew who I wanted to be. I remember being the new girl my 7th grade year and thinking I was going to be the most popular girl at Center Hill. I walked the halls confidently my first day of school with a black choker, full arms of jelly bracelets, an aeropostale shirt, wallabees, and my hair parted down the middle. By the end of the year, I had been seen wearing a basketball warm up suit, a camo jacket, a blue jean mini skirt, and a belt made out of cow skin; yes cow skin. I was constantly changing my identity to be good enough for those around me. Not only would my ridiculous outfits change (thank goodness those pictures aren’t on instagram), but my attitude and personality would also change based on who I was around. Though I may not be that middle school girl anymore, I still struggle with finding my identity based on who Christ has called me to be and what He has done for me, even now as a 21-year-old youth pastor’s wife and soon to be mom.
My problem is similar to the struggles of the church of Colossae. The people of the church were on the verge of losing their understanding of why the Christian life is lived. Paul’s letter to this church is a great explanation of how we are to live with Christ being the center of our focus. As Paul writes to remind these people of their identity, we will see also our identity as a woman of God.
You Are in Christ and Created for His Will
Your identity is hidden in who Christ is. Paul regards Christ as the “visible image of the invisible God, the supreme over all, the creator by which everything was created through Him and for Him, the head of the body, and the one who made peace through the blood of the cross.” The lovely thing we see here is that we are created by Him and for Him. We were made by His power, according to His pleasure, and for His eternal praise. We no longer chase after the desires of our flesh but seek to bring God glory in all areas of our life. If we are not seeking to find our identity in Christ, then we are seeking it in something else whether that be relationships, jobs, degrees, friendships, or appearances. BUT when our identity is in the eternal things of Christ, we will not be crushed by our failures or let down by the need to feel good enough. We won’t get lost seeking the attractive things of this world because when your identity is in Christ, you have a stable and eternal hope.
Girls, when you are made a new creation, you have no need to compare yourselves to others. Comparing ourselves to those around us makes us a mess. We as girls have the desire to feel “put together,” and if we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, we will never feel as if we meet those worldly standards. When God created you, he made you with special gifts and the purpose to glorify him. While one may have the gift of a beautiful singing voice (which the Lord did not gift me with), others may have the gift of creativity, organization, or athletics! We must seek to glorify Christ in the gifts He uniquely crafted us with and not get lost in the world of comparison.
You Are a Child of God
Previously, in Colossians 1:12, Paul says “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” My friend, you are qualified through Christ to become a child of God even though you were unable to accomplish that yourself. The shedding of His blood on the cross brings us in. How amazing is that? That is grace! You are reconciled, blameless, and free as verse 22 says. Before Christ’s work in our lives, we were by nature children of wrath and sin (Ephesians 2:3). But now, we who are in Christ have been rescued from our sins, forgiven for all of our mess ups, and are no longer alienated to the things of God but rather drawn near to His goodness. We are reconciled completely. What does this mean? It means that when you call on Jesus, you have been brought back to the original state of harmony and relationship with Him, which was lost when sin entered into the world. Jesus Christ has become the mediator between man and God. And because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can confidently stand before God blamelessly not because of our own works, good deeds, or reputation, but because of Christ’s righteousness and grace toward us despite our sinful nature.
You Are Firm in the Faith
We established that we have become children of God, but what is our next step as His daughters? We must continue in the faith so grounded and settled that we cannot be moved away from the hope of the gospel. We must be so well fixed on our relationship with Christ that we will not to be moved by any temptation. We must be steadfast. We must hold on to the profession of our faith without wavering. We must be faithful through all trials. To put it this way, once we are a disciple of Christ, our fashion choices cannot change based on what we desire our identity to be. We can’t be “country” today and “preppy” tomorrow.
God has a clear message that He communicates in Colossians; if you are in Christ, you are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). You can claim your identity in the goodness of Christ. And even in the tough seasons, Christ has a purpose for your life: to become more like Him, pursue Him, and make Him known. Today, where do you find yourself seeking your identity? Is it in Christ or things of the world? I pray that you continue to seek out your identity in Christ and become free to glorify Him in the person He has created you to be. In my flesh I am insecure, selfish, and rebellious. But that is not my identity anymore. Now, I am redeemed, forgiven, loved, and brought back into unity with Christ. Sweet sisters, may you cling to who you are in Christ and carry on as a witness for His name. This is your identity. Your identity is in Christ!
Lord, I thank You for the grace that You have shown me and the identity that You have given me. I ask that You open my heart to the freedom You have for me. Will You remind me of who I am in You, of the love that You have for me, and of the will that You have for my life? Father, give me strength to hold fast to Your Word and live as a daughter of the King today and every day.