Identity is a strange controller of our lives. We identify with ideas, and people that we perceive are like us or who identify with us. This space of “belonging” is necessary for us to feel free and welcome to share ourselves – at least the part of us that is similar.
Our identity determines how we look, sound, think, and feel. We exist because of birth in an individual family. I will often share, “Well I am ½ Irish and ½ English with a bit of Scot thrown in somewhere.” For most people that will identify me as a rather circumspect individual with a bit of a flair, you see the flair will always come out somewhere, you know, it is the Irish part. Others share, well Italian (a lot of people where I live and some of my closest friends are full Italian), or mainly Polish, and on and on it goes. We know that whatever determines our ethnic background, will to some degree, determine how we behave ourselves and how we perceive and understand our world.
So even though it is not the complete picture of an individual or a family, it is enough for us to draw certain conclusions about them and their heritage. Now let’s think for a few minutes about another controller factor in us. The country where we live and in my case, the area of the country where I live. My homeland is the USA, I have never even been to Ireland nor England. I was raised in the Southwest USA — born in Oklahoma and raised mainly in Texas. For the last 50 years of my life, we have lived in the Northeastern United States, eleven years in Vermont, and the last 40 in Central New York State.
I find I still tend to think like a southerner in matters of politics, behavior characteristics, and some language usage. However, my speech is northeastern in expression, except for those soft vowels which seem always to give my heritage away. Occasionally as I am teaching, a very southern sounding word will get out of my mouth and it leaves me stunned, and my class amused. Once again, identity has betrayed my very northern appearance and sound.
All the above is simply true in the natural. “And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we (let us) bear the image of the heavenly man.” 1 Corinthians 15:49 (The “let us” is from a very early text and I have included it because it is more in line with what Paul says in other places.
“… since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:9-10) We are being renewed in true-experiential knowledge in the image of its Creator. That is a WOW In my book!
I want to spend a few posts exploring this concept. We are now in the “New Adam” and carry in us His Spirit and His identity. It not only should, but it does make an entirely new difference in everything in our natural lives when we begin to grasp this truth.
Being a co-inheritor with Christ, living in His body, being a son of God Almighty, being formed in His image in this world, in the here and now – that is an exciting identity. Let’s allow the Lord to unpack this as we journey. Subscribe if you want to be notified when I have posted through your email as I pursue this line of thinking during the next few posts.
Blessing your day!