I have a strong inclination to protect the lambs of Jesus against prowling wolves who trick people into exchanging their identity in Christ for lesser things. I’m very concerned about the great harm that comes to people when they fixate on anything more than they fixate on the Word of God (a.k.a. Jesus of Nazareth [see John 1:1; 5:39]).
Let me clarify, Scripture speaks of primary identity and secondary identities. Our primary identity is Jesus Christ! Our secondary identities are things like male, female, king, servant, tax collector, farmer, athlete, prostitute, soldier, Pharisee, murderer, people-pleaser, husband, wife, single, child, alcoholic, divorcee, cancer-survivor, beauty queen, etc. For example, King David was an abuser, murderer, rapist, soldier, poet, musician, etc., but God would not allow David to be dominated and defined by any of these secondary identities, instead God insists that David be fixated on Jesus Christ as the Author and Perfecter of his faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning the shame, and is seated now at the right hand of the throne of God. God would say it’s illegal for David to make his secondary identities the central focus of his life …for from this focus would flow anxiety, fear, anger, bitterness, defensiveness, contempt, criticism, and crankiness. But from David’s union with Christ flows love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Here’s another example, Rahab was a prostitute! (Hebrews 11:31); however the all-defining and dominate dimension of Rahab’s life, thoughts, imaginative musings, blogs, hospitalities, etc. was her union with Christ!
Here’s another example, the gal in in John 4:29.
Here’s another example, Esther …exile, woman, member of the king’s harem, Hebrew, beauty queen, etc.; but her IDENTITY was Jesus Christ and Him crucified (see Hebrews 12:2).
Here’s another example, Jonah …angry, mercy-hater, prophet; but Jonah’s ultimate identity is anchored in Jesus of Nazareth.
Here’s one final example, Paul …the guy who caused people pain (2 Corinthians 2:1-3; 7:8-9), and the guy who spoke VERY harshly (see Galatians 5:12); but the main thing about Paul was his inseparable and all-defining union with Jesus (Philippians 3:8-9).