While one scarf can be pretty and warm, we aren’t meant to wrap ourselves in a bunch of them! If we try this, we’ll find that it quickly becomes difficult to keep them on, much less move in them.
In my last post, we talked about how we tend to wrap ourselves in relationships, abilities, position, and possessions to know who we are and be known by other people.
For each of us, identity is formed within the context of relationships, including personal relationships and the culture around us. From our childhood on, we learn to show others who we are with our relationships, abilities, position, and possessions.
While these things are typically good things, they aren’t meant to be our source of identity. They can take our focus off Jesus. They make us vulnerable to caring what people think of us. And they’re unstable because they can change, leaving us empty-handed. When these things are the source of our identity, it is like the awkwardness of being wrapped in many scarves!
When our identity is found in Christ, we discover who we really are in relationship with him. This frees us from caring what people think, and his unchanging love is stable even when the rest of life isn’t.
Our relationships, abilities, position, and possessions are gifts from God that can be used to bless us and other people. We’re freer to use them to love others when we aren’t wrapping ourselves in them for our own benefit.
When we are connected to Jesus, we can use these gifts creatively and courageously for God’s purposes in Spirit-inspired ways! Then we will make the greatest impact because we love people.
We don’t need to struggle with a bunch of scarves anymore. Let’s try something altogether different, like a coat!
“… your life is hidden with Christ in God … you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed … Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another … And above all these put on love …”
~Colossians 3: 3, 9, 12-14
Each time we pull on a coat this winter, let it remind us to put on love.
Let it remind us that our true identity in Jesus’ love for us.
Our lives are hidden in Christ, and in him we find our new self.
We are free from need for the applause of people.
We are free to live all of life motivated by love!
How has your identity has been shaped by the people in your life? What have you seen others find their identity in? How they have responded to you, and how you wanted them to see you?
How will you creatively and courageously use your relationships, abilities, position, and possessions to share the love of Christ?
Kathryn Featherstone is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and a board-certified Christian Life Coach. She helps people live and love well out of their strengths and their relationship with Christ. She’d like to encourage you in your journey! Write her a note or see her Coaching page.