Saturday, 26 July 2014

Our Desire For Acceptance


        
Our desire for acceptance is so ingrained that we will often try to become what others want us to be in our quest to define our identity.  It reminds me of a scene in the movie, "The Bourne Identity".  Jason Bourne, having amnesia, is desperate to discover who he really is.  He ends up opening a safety deposit box in hopes that his true identity will be revealed.  As he unpacks the box, he is surprised by a stack of passports.  To his dismay, each one has his photo on it under a different name.  He is obviously shaken and puzzled as he realizes he has been a different person in different parts of the world under a different name each time.   He leaves no closer to knowing who he is than before.  We often allow ourselves to take on the identity of the people we associate with.  It might be one with our family, one at work, one with our friends on Facebook and another at church.  
One blessing in understanding the Gospel of grace is that we discover we have an unchanging, unshakeable identity in Christ.  We are the beloved children of God.  "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it-we're called children of God!" 1 John 3:1a. As God's sons and daughters, we are holy, chosen, blameless, forgiven, accepted and so much more.Let me put it another way, our new nature is our identity in Christ.  Our new nature is the new norm for defining us.  Let that sink in.  It's not our past, our successes or failures, our sins, our Biblical knowledge, the opinions of others or our performance in any area of life.
I've been teaching a more complete understanding of the Gospel for 25 years.  The more I share it, the more I realize that understanding our identity in Christ frees us to be our true selves.  We are each unique in our personality, spiritual gifts, God-given talents, personal passions and even body type.  Ephesians 2:10 says it this way. "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in."
When we rest in our identity in Christ, we begin to discover and rest in our divine design.  We can accept our personality type as the way God "hard-wired" us rather than wishing we were someone else.  For example, if you are a high C on the DISC Profile, then God designed you to be very conscientious.  Yet, many with this temperament wish they were high I's who are extroverts and tend to be the life of the party.
It's like a lighting store our Director of Counseling, Tom Short, told us about recently.  It displays every shape and color of light bulb you could ever imagine: each one showing the light within uniquely.  In the same way, God designed you to be a special shape and color to express Himself through.  Isn't that freeing?
Why don't you tell your Father that you are standing firm in your identity in Christ today and that you accept yourself as the unique person God designed you to be.  Christ in you is a gift to the world.  Being confident in your identity in Christ will unleash the unique you to influence this world for God's glory, other's transformation and your joy. 
       
Live Free in Christ, 
Mark Maulding,

Founder & President of Grace Life International