WhoAmI Starting from scratch, how would you describe yourself – apart from the opinion of others? We each have a personal identity that we bring to Christ – one that He molds and uses if we yield to Him. Finding that personal identity in Christ is an important task for every believer.

Our self-identities are the platforms from which we present our bodies as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1, 2) .
They are the launching pads from which the Master gives us talents for the development of His kingdom (Matthew 25:15-30) .
They are the seedbeds in which the Spirit plants the gifts of the Spirit in our lives (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) .
They are the difference between being robots formed in the image of those around us, or vessels uniquely molded on the wheel of the Master.

Many facets make up the people we are. The most critical one is the work of God. His work in our lives is to be the first and controlling work. But what does God use in this formation process? The most critical and lasting work of God’s formation in us occurs through suffering and co-suffering with Him and others. An atmosphere of care created by co-suffering breathes into every one of us through the work and presence of the Holy Spirit and the character of the Cross.

The stability of identity so needed by the believer begins with Christ’s work on the cross. It progresses to victory, to the appropriation of His gifts and to many other steps of maturity when the believer is grounded in the fundamental experience of entering into the fellowship of His suffering. Co-suffering and co-caring with Christ and others is the foundation of Christian identity. Being a caring Christian is fundamental to being a Christian.

Being a caring Christian means that we are concerned about the loss of identity in society and in the lives of many believers. If we lack an identity of care from the heart, we have lost personal focus, private perspective and people consciousness. Care brings a sense of personal identity, and a strong sense of identity perpetuates care. Caring as Jesus cared means my personal identity has been transformed. When I care for others, I fulfill a part of what God intended for me to become. When I go too long without helping my neighbor, I lose a part of the person that God desires me to become.

Before one can effectively care in actions, he or she must sacrificially be molded from within. Identity is a personal attribute. No two of us are alike. A part of the power of care is that the caring Christian ministers to others what no one else can provide. One’s care is an extension of his or her identity. Many Christians struggle with identity issues of purpose, meaning and self because the capacity God has given is lying dormant.

The caring Christian says, “I care because that’s who I am in Christ.”

Blessings

Pastor Mark

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