“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” – John 15:5
When I entered high school athletics, my identity was found in sports. I viewed my value and worth as a direct reflection of my performance. If I competed well and my stats were up, so was my feeling of worth and value. Inversely, if I played badly or had an off-game, my feelings coincided with that performance. Sports were my identity. Yet, through the influence of my coaches, the Lord grabbed hold of my life and revealed where my identity truly is.
Your identity is not dictated by what you do, but what Jesus did for us! Our value and worth come from His sinless life, atoning death on the Cross and His resurrection. His perfect love and ultimate sacrifice provide inherent value and worth, and when we receive the gift of grace, our lives can change. Our lives are redeemed and given a purpose far greater than increasing our level of performance. Our identity is found in what Jesus did and Who we are following.
In John 15, Jesus calls His disciples to abide in Him. To abide means to remain or continue to be present/held/kept. What an incredible invitation from our Lord, to remain in Him in all circumstances--in the challenging and heartbreaking times, to the incredible mountaintop moments. This freedom is a freedom from the chains of seeking the approval of the world and empowers us to live a life dedicated to glorifying the Lord in ALL areas of our life. The apostle Paul reminds the churches in Galatia of this truth in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
As competitors, we must allow the truth of the Gospel to transform our identity. Let our identity be in Christ alone and let that freedom relieve the pressures of performance. Strive for a greater performance not for our own name, but for the name of Jesus.
- How can you remind yourself of your identity in Christ every day?
- What is one way you will reflect an identity found in Christ to your team?
“Lord, thank You for never leaving us. Thank You for the life, death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus. Please give me the boldness and strength to walk in alignment with the life You have called me to, and may You be glorified in all that I do. Amen.”