Who Are You?

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:16-21)

Who are you?

In the world you live in, your identity is built according to the flesh. You are called by your earthly father’s name (Smith, Jones, Miller, Mast, Yoder, Schlabach, etc). You are identified by your occupation (carpenter, doctor, grocer, housewife). You are remembered for your facial features (eye color, hair color, skin tone, type of nose) or for your body shape (tall, short, skinny, and fat).

Your friends remember you by your personality–quiet, withdrawn, bold, outgoing, opinionated. They know you by your knowledge, opinions, and preferences, whether it’s food, sports, cars, academia, music, or even spirituality. They may even know you by the things that upset you and irritate you, for the flaws that are in your life, even for the things you’re not good at.

These things are your body and soul. But is this who you really are?

To you, your physical imperfections may be very real. Your personality flaws may be blatantly obvious. Your imperfections may stare you in the face, and failure may be constantly ringing in your ears. But I’m here to say those imperfections are not you, because if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.

I don’t mean those imperfections and flaws don’t exist, but what I mean is that it’s not your identity, and we no longer regard you according to those things. Buried deep in your heart, perhaps nearly forgotten beneath many lies and many voices, is the essence of who you are. And who you are is glorious, because nothing God creates is anything less than that. After all, for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

You see, sometimes we think that if people are to grow, we need to focus on their imperfections. But what if we went beyond that? What if we focused on their divine identity and divine destiny? What if we saw them for who they really are in Christ? Is that merely excusing sin? Absolutely not! Rather, it’s proclaiming a prophecy over their lives, because that is who they are and it is their destination. Is it ignoring reality? Absolutely not! Rather, it’s acknowledging the ultimate reality.

When God looks at you, He sees the righteousness of God within you, so who’s  going to stop me from doing the same thing? Through Christ, God is reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. And if God doesn’t count your trespasses against you, who’s going to stop me from writing off your trespasses? No matter what your flaws, your hangups, your addictions, your irritations, God is intent on loving you incessantly, recklessly, lavishly. This selfless love from God totally changed my life, so tell me–who’s going to stop me from pulling back the floodgates and letting you be washed clean by his incessant, reckless, lavish, selfless love flowing through me?

After all, that’s what the body of Christ is all about.

So tell me, who are you?

…[I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints… (Eph 1:17-18)

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