#FaithBites #FaithJourney Mistaken Identity
Anyone who knows me knows that I am loud, sometimes obnoxious, and speak before I think. It’s something that I have been working on my whole life, but sometimes mess up. Today I was at a BBQ for our new students, having a great time with my daughters. I was running around, saw one of our students and saw the person with him out of the corner of my eye. I turned and said, is this mom? He said, “No, this is my wife”. Instantly, I felt ashamed, sorry, and terrible when I saw the look in her eyes. I apologized deeply and sincerely but know it had an impact. There is no way for me to take it back. This was a split second slip of the tongue, that can impact that relationship forever. I pray for forgiveness and a repair for that relationship.
How often do we make split-second decisions on someone’s identity? Do you assume who someone is because of what they wear, how they talk, the color of their skin, the makeup or tattoos, their weight? I do it all the time even though I’m working on it. Do you see someone who looks middle eastern and assume they are Muslim and assume they don’t eat pork? They could very well have lived in the US their whole life, be Christian, and love bacon. We don’t know who they are without asking. Their identity is hidden to us until we build a deeper relationship.
The question I raise today, do we help or hurt our identity as a Christian but the way we look, the way we talk, and the way we act?
Above,I told you how I made a snap decision on identity that will take work to repair. As Christians, we should help people see our identity to help in their decisions of us. Our Romans text shows that we need to love and accept one another as Christ accepted us. We are all sinners. No one is a bigger sinner or lesser sinner as all sins are equal.
Throughout all of that God loves us, we should show his love in our acceptance of others. In Colossians, we are told to set our sites on the Lord and things in the next life, not on things here. Are we showing people that we are materialistic and opportunistic, or do we help others find the Lord? The Acts verse talks about Barnabas who showed his new life in Christ. He was a good man, he was changed. His old identity was gone, he was Christ-like in his actions.
I can’t go back in time and change what I said to that women. I shouldn’t have said anything at all. My eagerness to say something stuck my foot in my mouth. We know others will judge us by our thoughts, our actions, and our deeds. Let’s show them our true identity in Christ. We may be disliked for it, but we are being truthful.
First, think about what your identity is and how you want to show it to others. Next, pick one trait of Christ that you want to work on and track your progress. Then ask yourself, “Am I showing my true identity to everyone”? Am I being a good ambassador of Christ?
I will show my true identity to everyone with the help of God.