Craig at “New Covenant Bible Fellowship of Las Vegas” has written a great post called “Freedom to Grow.” In the post, he writes about his identity in Christ, how he lost sight of that identity, and how is is finding his identity in Christ again.
The interesting thing is that although Craig said he had lost sight of his identity in Christ, he was considered a leader among the church. In fact, it was the expectations and responsibilities placed on him as a recognized leader that hindered his understanding of his identity in Christ.
For example, consider this paragraph that begins Craig’s post:
Over the last several months of studying, searching, and relaxation in the Lord, I am in the beginning stages of truly feeling free in Christ to be myself. For far too many years I have had to essentially put on a mask and be someone who God did not create. I have acted for too many years for everyone else rather than being me and resting comfortably in the Lord. Not that “pretending” has been all bad. I haven’t been an awful person or sought to dishonor Christ. But in the process of making sure all my professional clergy boxes get checked (you know, ordained, licensed, performed weddings, funerals, attended conferences, church EVERY Sunday, etc.) and all my personal Christian boxes get checked (prayer, personal devotions, bible reading, etc), I lost my identity. My identity of being in Christ, the joy of that which I experienced as a new believer, became lost in being told what I need to DO as a Christian rather than what I became and now am in Christ.
Make sure to read the remainder of Craig’s post. He has alot of good things to say.
I was also pleased to see that Craig did not blame others for these issues. He even recognizes that much of what happens is “well-meaning.” Of course, “well-meaning” is not the same as healthy or beneficial, but that’s for a different post. He recognizes that even “well-meaning” believers may have missed the point of who they are in Christ and how they respond to that identity. I know that I’ve done that before as well.
I’m glad that Craig (like many of us) is finding his identity in Christ again. And, I’m also glad that he’s not blaming his brothers and sisters in Christ.