Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Mark Driscoll's new book, Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ (Thomas Nelson, 2013).
Who are you? That's a question many people struggle to answer.
Too often, people base their identities on what they do (from their jobs to their roles in relationships), defining themselves by those pursuits. But by doing so, they significantly limit their lives. The truth is that God intends for all people to find their identity in Christ.
If you're a Christian, your identity encompasses all the abundance of being a beloved child of God. Here's how you can start living your life fully in Christ, keeping in mind that:
You're a saint. The fact that you've placed your trust in Jesus Christ is enough to qualify you to be a saint. Even though you'll still struggle with sin while you live in this fallen world, your core identity as a Christian is as a saint, not a sinner - and you can always count on Jesus' help to overcome sin in your life. Rely on His help to resist temptation. When you do sin, confess and repent. Maintain attitudes of humility and gratitude for God's grace.
You're blessed. God has given you the greatest blessing of all - Himself. No matter what other blessings God may or may not choose to send into your life, you can always be confident that God Himself will be with you, loving you, and working everything in your life out for good purposes when you trust Him to do so. God also brings many different, specific blessings into your life regularly. Make a habit of reflecting on those blessings every day (or every week) and thanking Him for them.
You're appreciated. God notices and appreciates every good choice you make throughout your life - even when other people don't. So change the way you live as a result. Exchange grumbling for praying, competing for celebrating, bitterness for thankfulness, performing for serving, and boasting for encouraging.
You're saved. Thanks to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, you're saved from: sin, death, Satan, your old human nature, and a pattern of worldly living. You can respond in gratitude to your salvation by doing good works that God has prepared for you to do, to help others discover relationships with Him and help redeem this fallen world.
You're reconciled. Jesus has spiritually reconciled you to God and other believers. Since God plans for all Christians - from all the diverse types of backgrounds on Earth - to live harmoniously together in heaven forever, you should do your best to live harmoniously here and now. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be peaceful, humble, and compassionate toward other people.
You're afflicted. Everyone in this fallen world - Christians and non-Christians alike - must endure suffering. However, as a Christian, your suffering can accomplish good, redemptive purposes. Rather than asking "Why?" when you suffer, ask "Who?" instead, shifting your focus from trying to figure out something that you may not be able to understand and toward seeking God Himself, who promises to always be with you. Ask Jesus to use the suffering you experience to make you more like Him and point more people to Him.
You're heard. God always hears and responds to your prayers when you're connected to Him through Jesus. Feel free to confidently express any of your thoughts and feelings to God at any time, expecting Him to listen to you and answer your prayers according to what's best for you.
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Whitney Hopler, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer