Day 16 – Identity and Shame
Did you know that Christ followers are described in the New Testament in at least 50 ways?
Abraham’s Offspring/Seed. Athletes. Believers. Beloved. The Body of Christ. Branches. Brothers and Sisters. Children of God. Children of Promise. Christ’s Ambassadors. Christians. The Church. The Circumcision. Citizens of Heaven. Conquerors. Disciples. The Elect. Farmers. Fellow Citizens with God’s People. Firstfruits of All He Created. Fishers of Men/People. Followers of the Way. Fools for Christ. Foreigners and Exiles. Free People. Friends. God’s Building/Temple. God’s Field. God’s Handiwork. Good Soldiers of Christ Jesus. Heirs of God and Co-heirs with Christ. His Bride. A Holy Nation. Holy People/Saints. A Holy Priesthood. Imitators of the Lord. Instruments for Special Purposes. A Kingdom. A Letter from Christ. The Light of the World. Living Sacrifices. The Lord’s People. Ministers of a New Covenant. The New Creation. A New Humanity. The Pleasing Aroma of Christ. The Salt of the Earth. Sheep. Stewards/Servants. Wheat.
Knowing your identity as a Christ follower builds shame resilience.
Jesus knew his identity. When he was 12 years old, his parents found him in the temple talking with the teachers. He told them, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).
He already knew that God was uniquely his Father, and he was uniquely God’s Son.
When he was baptized in water, and the Holy Spirit came upon him, God the Father spoke from heaven: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
When Jesus began his ministry, he presented himself as a prophet (Luke 4:18-24; Mark 6:4).
At the end of his short life, his sense of identity was very strong. “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God” (John 13:3).
Jesus knew who he was. He didn’t have to prove himself to anybody. His identity didn’t depend upon some position of authority. He didn’t act like some self-important person. He didn’t depend upon what anyone said or thought.
He was sure of who he was. Sure of his relationship with God the Father. Sure of where he had come from. Sure of where he was headed.
This awareness gave him a profound sense of identity and shame resilience. It kept him from being puffed up with pride when he was honored. And it kept him from being driven to despair when he was rejected.
As we know who we are as Christ followers – described in many ways – we become like Jesus, shame resilient.
Today: Circle as many of the 50 descriptions of Christ followers as you want, and celebrate them.
~ Pastor Dave