“Keeping up with the Cruzes” and Your identity in Christ

I flipped through the pages of Cosmo Magazine this morning (ok, it’s not what you think it is. It’s my wife’s). One article that struck me is the one entitled, “Keeping up with the Cruzes” — a Filipinized version of the American idiom, “Keeping up with the Joneses”. The author, coming from a typical middle class family, described her struggle keeping up with her yaya- and driver-powered classmates in highschool. She would tell her friends of her imaginary Atari because others have them.

When she got employed in a big advertising company in Makati, she found out that her officemates live in their own condos courtesy of rich Dad, shopping during lunch break while keeping their salaries untouched. She, on the other hand, was still living with her parents and trying to keep ends meet with her salary. Great thing, though, she realized that she doesn’t have to keep up with the pressures of the society.

It caught my attention because I can relate with her. Our family isn’t even inthe middle class, we’re in the “upper poor” level, if there’s such a term. We’re not that poor but we aren’t in the middle class either. But my parents’ desire to give me a good highschool education had me spend my first year in an upper class school — St. Paul School in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija. My classmates were sons and daughters of politicians and other rich families in the town. One classmate of mine was the son of the incumbent mayor of our town — Jaen. I even heard that he was voted vice-mayor years ago. And poor me, wearing a hand me down uniform, trying to keep up with them. We eventually gave up and had me transfer to another school. But “keeping up with the Cruzes” continued until college. It’s a hard habit to break, you know.

Looking back, I now see where my problem, and other people’s problem lies — lack of personal identity. I was trying to get my identity from my friends, from the stuff I own, from the accomplishments, from academic awards. If you’ll strip all of these, you’ll see me naked. No identity.

But 5 years ago, I found my true identity. My identity is in Christ. Too theological, you may say. But really, it isn’t. It’s even very practical. Right now, people still tell me I’m “jologs”, and I don’t own things and properties that my fellow “businessmen” possess. I always recognize that when I’m in a meeting with clients. On the other hand, I don’t feel — even for a bit — envy and pressure to keep up with them. My identity is not coming from what I own or my accomplishments. Who I am and the way I look at myself is dependent on how Jesus look at me. If you want to know what I’m talking about, read further. I hope you can also relate with this. Be blessed.

Who I Am In Christ

I am accepted…
I am God’s child. (John 1:12)
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. (John 15:15)
I have been justified. (Romans 5:1)
I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:17)
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I am a member of Christ’s body. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:9-10)
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

I am secure…
I am free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. (Romans 8:28)
I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God. (Romans 8:31-39)
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-4)
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. (Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. (1 John 5:18)

I am significant…
I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life. (John 15:5)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16)
I am God’s temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm. (Ephesians 2:6)
I am God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

“The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity!”
(From Victory Over the Darkness , by Dr. Neil Anderson)