I talk a lot about “identity.” I think one of the core issues for growing as a follower of Jesus is determined by how we view ourselves – where we get our “identity” from. I struggle to articulate this point, but I’ll keep trying.
I don’t know if I’ll do his idea justice, but this idea really stuck with me when I read Doug Fields book, “Purpose Driven Youth Ministry.” I’m going on memory here, but it was probably in the first chapter that he introduced the idea of “Being” before “Doing.” Be before do. In other words, we’re all going to “do” something everyday, and that “doing” is going to be influenced by our “being” (identity). If we want to do the right things and for the right reasons, it’s got to flow out of a proper sense of being/identity.
The idea is, as a follower of Jesus, I have to increasingly find myself “being” more with God and finding my “being” (identity) in him. I will often be tempted to find my being/identity in something else. That something else takes many forms – body shape/appearance, financial status, car I drive, clothes I wear, sin I struggle with, who my friends are, do I feel successful, do I feel like a failure, etc. None of these things are – good or bad – are a proper foundation for my “being” or identity.
The one and only sure and proper identity for the follower of Jesus is his identity/being as a follower of Jesus. My bedrock is Christ. I am loved by God. I’m his child. Nothing I can say or do is going to change that. But’s my choice to either “do” out of that”being”, or to go “doing” based on any other definition of my being/identity.
Some of this idea for me is found in a quote from Watchman Nee that I have posted previously about:
“Lord I do not know fully what the value of the Blood is, but I know that the Blood has satisfied thee; so the Blood is enough for me, and it is my only plea. I see now that whether I have really progressed, whether I have really attained to something or not, is not the point. Whenever I come before thee, it is always to be on the ground of the precious blood.”
I love that thought, “…whether I have really progressed, whether I have really attained to something or not, is not the point.” The point is that God loves me and accepts and views me through the lens of what Jesus has done for me. I’m his child. I’m his beloved. And that settles.
Now let me go out and “do” something.