Galatians 4: 4-7 – But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
At our men’s small group last week, we listened to a message about having a sober self assessment, and understanding who we are in Christ. After the message, each man was tasked with sharing his 3 biggest strengths and 3 biggest weaknesses. It sparked a really great discussion. Everyone was being open and honest, and it gave us some opportunities to edify and uplift each other.
However, toward the end of the discussion, I noticed something that bothered me a little bit. As we were opening up about our weaknesses, we were starting to identify ourselves by those weaknesses. Instead of saying, “This is something that I struggle with,” guys were starting to say things like, “I am ________.” To say that you struggle with something is very different than defining who you are through that struggle.
God never said that we wouldn’t have weaknesses and struggles. He never told us that we wouldn’t fail. In fact, He told us the exact opposite. He told us that we would all fall short (Romans 3: 10). He did, however, make it possible for us to stop identifying with those struggles and start identifying with Jesus Christ and His Righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
In Galatians 2: 20 we read, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
I am not by any means suggesting that we will not fall short in life. Personally, I fall short every single day. Rather, the message I wanted every guy in that room to walk out of there with was that, as men who have given their lives to Christ, in the truest sense their identity is a beloved son. Their spirit is a much truer representation of who they are, and that spirit identifies with Christ, not with their imperfections. The perfect spirit inside them has not completely manifested itself into their flesh, and they still struggle with things. But the love that God showed to us through Jesus Christ is so much bigger than those struggles.
I want to leave everyone with a question that a very dear friend asked me a couple of weeks ago. As I was explaining to him some of the things I was presently struggling with in my life, I guess I sounded a bit defeated. He felt led to ask me a question that had completely changed his walk with God. The question was, “Are you a slave trying to be set free, or are you a son that has been set free?” Within the answer to that question could lie the victory over some of those current struggles in your life. Remember, you may not be perfect, but you are loved more than you can even comprehend. That love is so much bigger than those imperfections. Your identity lies with Christ, not with your imperfections.