People tend to act out of their perceived identities. As Christians, our identity is that of a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). We stand fully reconciled, holy, and blameless before our loving Father (Col 1:21-22). Yet so often we look at our sinful thoughts and actions and come to the conclusion that our identities are those of Sinners with a capital S, of outcasts even, deserving of condemnation from a just God. And since that’s who we think we are, we turn around and try to prove it over and over again. A vicious cycle persists. But that is not how God sees us at all.

At the bottom of the ocean, the pearl begins as a grain of sand inside the body of an oyster. Along the journey of its life, the oyster accumulates barnacles and endures manifold scrapes and cracks. It may or may not look as good as the shell two reefs over. Either way, one day a harvester will retrieve that oyster for what’s inside. And while its battered shell will be discarded, the pearl–that beautiful and complete work of art–will remain.

Similarly, all the deeds we do apart from faith in God will one day be discarded into a great fire; but not us, not the pearl. For God doesn’t condemn pearls (Rom 8:1), He lavishes them with grace (Eph 1:7-8a).

If God says we are new creations, then so we are. When we believe and embrace this fact, we will act the part, and not before.

I hope this encourages you to live out your true identity today.

-Kevin Murray
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