Defining Identity
Devotional

Defining Identity

May 6, 2024

Defining Identity

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

If you’ve spent any length of time in West MI you have probably participated in “Dutch Bingo”. It’s the process of connecting identities through conversation. Genealogy, “he is my second cousin”, careers “yes, the family that runs the greenhouse”, or location “the Scholtens from Byron Center ” are used to find mutual acquaintances. While Dutch Bingo can be fun, it incompletely identifies. We can’t fully grasp our identity without acknowledging our relationship with Christ.

John talks about this in 1 John 3. He declares that the most important part of our identity is our role as children of God. Our status as God’s children shapes all of who we are. We are adopted into God’s family, not because of anything we did but because of our Father’s extravagant love. Verse 1 says “see what GREAT love the Father has LAVISHED on us that we should be called children of God.” In love, God not only created us but claimed us as his own.

Just as a person’s last name connects them to a history of family tradition, our identity as children of God connects us forever, to the Savior of the world. It impacts all of who we are and every role we play in this life. As a child of God, we are given the gift of His presence, to empower and guide us. In turn, all parts of our identity are transformed. Our Lord graciously shapes us into better parents, siblings, children, grandparents, leaders, and employees.

What a joy to know that our identity isn’t found in our own abilities or even our family history, but rather in our Lord and Savior who created and saved us. As we go through our weeks may our status as God’s children be recognized by how we live. May people see our actions and not only think “you must be a ‘Hartgerink’ kid”, but “you must be God’s child”.

Reflect on your identity this week. Where do you turn to find your identity? Have you known and embraced your identity as a child of God? How has your place in God’s family impacted all parts of your life?

Prayer

Lord, We praise and thank you for the ability to call you Father. Thank you for creating, us, saving us, and calling us your own. May our identity as your children shape all other parts of who we are. Let people look at us and immediately recognize our connection to you. It is in your son’s name that we pray, Amen.

Makalah Scholten
Spiritual Care Coordinator

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