Identity

word with dice on white background- identity…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to be the praise of His glorious grace, with which He blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6

I like labels. I like knowing what to expect from others and I like having an explanation for some of the quirky things I do. For example, one of the labels I wear is “auditory learner”. It’s part of my identity. It’s why I remember names well, think out loud to myself, and am a slow reader. If you were to introduce yourself to me as an “auditory learner” I would have an idea of what to expect.

We all wear various labels: firstborn, academic, artsy, abused, forgetful, health-minded, homeschooler, single, abandoned – and these labels effect the way we live.

I used to be so heavily controlled by my “Type A” and “perfectionist” personality that I eventually fell into anorexia and all joy was squelched by the pursuit of having it all together. Now (in the strength of Christ’s power) I proudly wear the label “recovering perfectionist”. It’s why I don’t mind guests coming over to a messy house or seeing me frustrated at my children; I want to share my real life with you rather than the suffocating pretense of “perfection”.

But sometimes I still get carried away with the whole label thing. I carry labels that I’ve not been called to wear. And I change them often. And eventually the Lord will graciously cleanse them from my life and I’m left humble and a little sore by the reminder.

The Lord had to do this a few months ago. I had dived head-first into the label of “healthy”. I don’t do moderation well, so I lived and breathed it and spent all of my monthly grocery budget by the middle of the month. One day I was having guests over, the kitchen was a disaster, the chicken hadn’t even made it in to the oven yet, and then… this is the kicker… an entire quart mason jar of fermenting homemade ginger-ale exploded in the fridge. Brad went out for pizza and I was left to clean up the mess in the kitchen and in my own heart.

Why do I get so distracted by the temporal? Should I be known for anything, let it be “loved” and “forgiven”. Let me love others with such voracity that it would be sought after so my God, Love Himself, would be revealed. Let me forgive others so freely that God’s face is shown in the act. Let me act boldly in the knowledge that I could get it wrong and I would still be perfectly loved.

As a Believer those are the two labels I must wear. All others will pass away.

As a Believer you are “loved” and “forgiven”. May it effect the way you live, think, sleep, breathe, spend money, judge others, judge yourself, forgive others, forgive yourself.

This month, welcome to Identity.

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. 1 John 2:12

3 thoughts on “Identity

  1. We try to be perfect, but our striving for perfection exhausts us. It drives others away as they center their thoughts on their imperfections. Only God is perfect! He loves us even with our imperfections and forgives us as we turn our hearts to Him. Hopefully your will be able to laugh with your friends about the chicken and the exploding ginger-ale bottle. I have tried to be perfect all my life, but did not even realize it. I so focused on my imperfections that I could not even see my perfectionism and my at times judgmental attitude towards others.
    Your story makes me feel closer to you, Janna. Thank you for your encouragement!

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