“You aren’t, but I am.”
If you have been a Christian for any length of time you may have felt the Lord saying this to you one way or another. Now, this is a very true statement, and I know for me, He has said it many times. He seems to say it to me almost weekly (at least). However, I find it easy to be caught up on the first part of the sentence and forget about the second half.
We see the “You aren’t…” and we panic; we freak out, we walk around in shame beating ourselves up because we can’t seem to do anything. We hear the words of Jesus ringing loudly in our heads, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” In that phrase, we often only see the second part of the phrase, “…you can do nothing,” all the while forgetting that Christ…is.
“Apart from Me” is the key part of the sentence, not the “you can do nothing.” However, because we tend to have low self-esteem and a polluted and distorted view of how God looks at us, we only see the negative. We only see how worthless (we think) we are. But to God this isn’t true.
Then there is the topic of humility. We tend to think that if we see ourselves as worthless, the scum of Jesus’s sandal, then we are just being humble and that this is how we’re supposed to look at ourselves. Religion and the “god” we were introduced to as children has a lot to do with this inaccurate perception of ourselves. No, true humility is this: though we are sinners, though are actions and our own righteousness are but filthy rags, we are dearly and wholly loved and His actions and righteousness are in us. Not only are we loved, but Jesus likes us. He likes our personality quirks, our little imperfections, and the things that make us, us.
The Body of Christ Has a Flu
I feel as though there is a bug going around Christianity, a flu-like bug that is contagious and hard to cure once infected. That is, many believers think they have to act like the next guy, have his/her same personality traits, gifts, talents, language, etc. in order to be accepted by God (and by others). God does not want a bunch of robots running around saying, “Does not compute!” after every character flaw of another individual comes out. Or a machine that says, “Oh praise God!” when he/she is really angry or upset at Him. This is a lie and a facade many people put on to look more holy or to try to convince God that they are holy.
There is no lying to God, for He sees what really is going on; He sees us as He created us. Anything that attempts to deny us of who we are in Christ, our true identities which are unique to us, is not of God. The attack on our true identities is probably one of Satan’s largest and most effective deceptions.
What’s the cure? Good question. It is simple, but could take decades to fully realize: Discover and enjoy our true identity, no matter the cost. This is why we need other believers around us that have eyes to see the Christ that is in us and choose not to attempt to stifle that.