Daily Encouragement: Day 316

Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth


Charlie Chaplin entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike competition in Monte Carlo—he came in third! We too are getting mixed signals about our identity. Our parents, friends, associates, and society give us one set of impressions, and to the extent that we expose ourselves to Scripture, we discover an entirely different picture. The usual way of resolving these conflicting inputs is to filter out the biblical passages that do not fit the self-perception we have picked up from the world. For instance, many of us have experienced significant amounts of performance-based acceptance. Because of this, we may conclude that love is conditional and must be merited. When Scripture tells us that as believers in Christ we are unconditionally loved and accepted by the Father, we find it difficult to internalize since it is so radically opposed to everything the world has told us. When we read in Ephesians 1–2 that we are not only members of God’s family, but we are already seated with Christ in the heavenly places, we are inclined to think it must be talking about someone else. When Romans 6 tells us that we have died with Christ and no longer need be dominated by the power of sin, we say that our experience suggests otherwise.

Who we are in Christ is not shaped by what we do, but by what He did on the cross and continues to do in our lives. It is not our performance that determines our identity; instead, our new identity in Jesus becomes the basis for what we do.

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