Colossians 3:9-10 (NKJV) Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, our old man is dead and crucified with Christ, but we will continue to live in the old man, its identity and lifestyle until we renew our minds with the Word of God regarding who we are in Christ.
Our old identity thrives on the praises and the approval of people. We draw strength, security, approval and esteem from people based on our achievements, or the number of “likes” on our social media posts. Our identity is based on the measure of our worth before people, especially those we seek approval from, such as our bosses, our peers, our parents or anybody we know, depending on what stages of our lives we are at. We are proud that we are doing better than our siblings, neighbours and colleagues. Unfortunately, everything that can be achieved based on our own strength can also be overtaken by someone else because they are temporal.
We live in a world that operates on Phileo love which is a conditional love. Therefore, not everyone will praise and affirm you, or be kind to you when you are down and out in life, and it is very likely that we will lose the respect of others once we have lost our positions of significance in their eyes, such as when we were made redundant, transferred to a less significant role, or retired. As for those who identify with their looks and physiques, once they start to get old or out of shape, they will feel a sense of insecurity and rejection that leads to self-doubt and lack of confidence. When those things that caused us to be admired are stripped away from us, we will feel worthless, insecure and vulnerable, and have an identity crisis.
All of us will go through transitions in our lifetime, and very often, they are contributing factors to an identity crisis, such as being a trailing spouse, entering a new role or being in between jobs. If we can’t handle these transitions well, we may end up having to deal with anger, wrath, dissatisfaction, and disillusionment in life, which will spill over to our relationships with our spouse, family members and close friends, because when we are unhappy with the current state of our being, our emotions will be all over the place.
What can we do to overcome all these challenges and pick ourselves up when we are down? We need to identify ourselves with our new identity. Jesus came to give us the right identity and self-worth. We will begin to enjoy the abundant life meant for us when we have the right identity in Christ.
Sermon Series: A New Identity after His Resurrection
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