It never seem to amaze me at how people identity themselves then are quick to look around at others to blame for the many problems we see in society and this goes for believers and nonbelievers alike. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with different people of different backgrounds and regardless of what they believe in terms of religion, they define themselves in terms of their race or their gender or political party. Some, sadly, find their identity in all three.
As a Christian, this is something that bothers me but something that I see too often. Yes, I will be the first to admit that I used to define myself by how I voted or my political views and it wasn’t too long ago when this was the case. However, regardless of how I vote, my identity is first found in Christ and I have been able to observe my growth and maturation and it was clear to me of this when I was referred to, just a week ago, as a Republican brother but I had to inform the man that I am not a Republican but rather, a conservative.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am conservative in terms of money and values and yes, politics, and Christ was the same way when He walked the Earth and because of His word, we know that He is the very first conservative. Christ is where I find my value system and get my personal beliefs and where I gauge how to conduct myself and while I do fall short often and I do, I do my best to get back up and try to be better as Christ created me, not a political system or party: “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
Just like anyone else, a Christian has a past. It may not be one they are proud of but we do not have to be defined by our past but rather, in who we are today as new creations in Christ: “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This verse should give all people hope that whoever we used to be and whatever we used to do is gone and no longer matters and while people may see us as we used to be, God does not and I am thankful for this as there have been people to drag my name through the mud about things that I did do but also, about things that I did not do.
That old hymn “I’ll have a new body, I’ll have a new life” gives me hope that despite the weaknesses and limitations of this flesh, someday, I’ll trade it in for a new body and again, I’ll have a new life. No, not because of my deeds or my actions but rather, because I gave my life to Christ who not only gave me life but He also gave me eternal life. This is something that each of us should be thankful for and while this Earth does offer us some great blessings and moments of happiness—not because we are of the Earth but rather, because we are highly blessed—the fail in comparison next to what is in store for us in the life that awaits and it all began because of our acceptance of Christ: “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine” (Isaiah 43:1).