Have you ever heard some say, “She identifies as South Asian”? Or perhaps, “He identifies as gay”. Or, “They identify as black”. Does this sound odd to you? It shouldn’t, really. Scripture understands what’s going on perfectly. Listen to the very first words of Philippians: “Paul and Timothy servants of Christ Jesus.” They put their identity right up front.
There are many things people might know about Paul. He was a Jew from Tarsus. He was a former Pharisee. As a tradesman, he was a tentmaker. All of these were parts of his identity, but what Paul wants everyone to know more than anything else is that he is a servant of Christ Jesus. It’s a pattern in his letters that reveals his life.
So, how do you identify? Or, better, “who are you really?”
Many of us have overlapping identities. Perhaps you’re an immigrant from another country; you identify with your heritage. That’s good. Perhaps you identify as a member of a profession, like a doctor or a business person. That’s good, too. Or maybe something else. But for followers of Jesus, one identity rises above all the others. We are servants of Christ Jesus.
No identity is higher. None more important. No matter who or what else you are, this is the one we must never forget because it travels with us wherever we go. This identity changes everything. This identity is the greatest identity we’ll ever have. We are servants of Christ Jesus!
Father, thank you for making me a servant of Christ Jesus. Help me to better understand the privilege and joy of this identity and how your Spirit continually transforms me to be more like you. Amen.
Throughout this Day: Consider the different ways you identify yourself: occupation, heritage, social or marital status. Ask the Lord to help you see how your identity in Christ permeates through each of these aspects of your identity.
Photo Credit: Marcelo Leal