“Their sins are not their identities.” – Jefferson Bethke
In Cheaper by the Dozen 2, a scene is depicted where Tom’s kids do something crazy and get in a fair bit of trouble. As Tom is talking with Jimmy, Jimmy says ‘there’s a reason your kids are screw-ups.’ Without even hesitating, Tom says ‘my kids are not screw ups. They screwed up.’
I wonder how often in life we connect our sins with our identities? I know for me, while I was recovering from anxiety, depression and an eating disorder, I had to constantly remind myself that I was not any of those things. I was not then, and I still am not my depression. I am not my eating disorder. I am not my anxiety. I am not my past pornography addiction.
And yet, sometimes I still live like I am.
But friend, here’s the thing: we are not our mistakes. We are not our struggles or temptations. We are not our failures or our successes. We are not our past, our present or our future. We are not our illnesses or diseases, and our addictions do not define us.
We are not our behavior.
So now I have told you everything you are not, please listen as I tell you who you are.
You are God’s Child. You are His Beloved, His friend, His co-worker. You are a member of Christ’s Body, you are His bride. You are faithful. You are kind. You are important. You are loved. You are a citizen of Heaven. You are a Holy Temple that Holy Spirit resides in. You are anointed, and chosen. You are an Image bearer of Christ. You are His Light to a dark world. You are His Hands and His feet. You are blameless and free. You are righteous.
And friend, you are not your mistakes. Move forward, Brave-heart.