Our Actions Are Rooted In Our Identity

Who are YOU?

Who do you think you are?

These two questions aren’t exactly my favorite in the world because it more than likely means I’m in trouble. At least that was the case for me growing up. Often that trouble was deep trouble – as if there is a different kind of trouble.

Like when we were playing baseball and a window was broken. I’m not saying I did it. I’m not saying I didn’t. I am saying we all ran away when an adult came out and yelled – “Who are you kids?” (Apparently he did know who we were because all of our dads got phone calls that night.)

The other question happens a lot when our kids proceed to tell us what the family schedule is for the weekend. Or when somebody thinks we are watching something other than the Denver Broncos on the big TV.

I have scenes in my life that when I replay in my mind, they shock me. I see a person who looks like me and sounds like me do things that I can’t believe “he” did. It’s surreal. Decisions that for the life of me, I can’t believe I made. It’s like watching somebody else.

Our actions are rooted in our identity.
I believe this is true. I also believe we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ We have two identities at war within ourselves. We are made in the image of God and have His fingerprints all over us. We are also made in the image of Adam and we’ve got his as well.

This explains why beautiful people think they are ugly. It’s why some wrestle with cutting or eating disorders. This is the reason why we can make wonderful and atrocious decisions.

This is why Jesus’ first task in a new home is a total makeover – a new identity. He makes a new creation because the root of our actions is in our identity. It’s why Jeremiah told Israel – one day God will write his law upon our hearts. In other words, he will change our identity so our actions will follow.

It’s a process to be sure. It doesn’t happen overnight as Paul reminds us in Romans 7. But God is confident that his work is not in vain, that he will complete it. And living towards that reality is fundamental in living in His grace.


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