What I have come to realize in decades of working with patients is that our self-esteem will always suffer if we don’t know and fully appreciate our identity in Christ. Do you struggle with identity? Before accepting Christ, Nancy Kay Grace did as well. Through salvation, the power of God made her a new creation that anchored her identity. She shares 3 ways to grow in your identity in Christ.
On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, I had the pleasure of chatting with Nancy about overcoming low self-esteem with audacious grace. If you missed that episode, you can listen here [How To Overcome Low Self-Esteem with Audacious Grace – Episode 173].
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
3 Ways to Grow in Your Identity in Christ
By Nancy Kay Grace
Do you struggle with grasping your identity as a new creation in Christ?
A new creation in Christ
Before accepting Christ, I struggled with my identity. I compared myself to others and criticized myself when my high expectations were not met.
2 Corinthians 5:17 shaped my life with the hope of being a new creation in Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
By the power of God, He made me new. Knowing who I am in Christ is the anchor for my identity.
Every day we have the opportunity to grow in our identity in Christ. The more secure we become with knowing who we are in Christ, the more God shapes us to be who He wants us to be.
What does becoming a new creation mean?
It means allowing the Holy Spirit to transform your heart to become more like Jesus. This spiritual renewal continues as we seek the Lord.
Three Ways to Grow in Your Identity in Christ
1. Remove the hindrances in your thoughts
The shame of our imperfections and the ceaseless drive for perfection are barriers to fully accepting God’s love. By looking to the Lord and resting in His love, those hindrances can diminish. It’s okay to be “good enough” in everyday life, not worried about striving for perfection.
Realizing and releasing those barriers to God brings hope and freedom in your soul.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
Psalm 62: 5-6 NIV
There is rest for the soul through removing the obstacles of imperfection or the desire for perfection. Once again we can embrace the truth of being fearfully and wonderfully made by God (from Psalm 139).
2. Refocus on the truth of God’s word
When we change our focus from negative thought patterns to the truth in the scriptures, God works in us. He accepts us as we are, with our faults and weaknesses. We don’t have to pretend we have everything all together or compare ourselves to anyone. Pretense and comparison often lead to discouragement and depression.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 42:5 NIV
Refocusing on the truth of God’s Word clears the mind and renews perspective. When I have a day in which I struggle with depression, I have to make the choice to refocus on biblical truth for hope. God then renews my perspective.
3. Remember God’s presence and character
Often God answers our battle with loneliness through our spouse or friends who understand and accept us. However, those same people can also let us down. It is important to remember that God is always with us, in every situation.
Isaiah 41:10 gives comfort in knowing God’s presence.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
In Lamentations 3:21-23, Jeremiah encourages us to consciously make the choice of calling to mind God’s character to gain hope, even in the midst of the struggle.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV
God is ever-present, loving, and faithful. Remembering God’s presence and character calms our fears. He restores hope in the midst of loneliness or betrayal.
In Ephesians 4:22-24 Paul describes the contrast of living for the old self and being made new through the Lord.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Secure in our identity
Each day we can look to the Lord with hope as He works in us to grow our faith and become more secure in our identity. Continual renewal is possible through the Holy Spirit, so that we can reflect the love of God to those around us.
In Christ, we are made new. By removing hindrances, refocusing on the truths in God’s Word, and remembering God’s presence and character, we can grow in knowing our identity in Christ.
How have you seen yourself change into a new creation? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Nancy Kay Grace
Nancy Kay Grace enjoys sharing coffee and conversation. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and award-winning author of The Grace Impact, a devotional about God’s grace in our lives. Nancy is married to her favorite pastor, and is enjoying the stage of life with two married children and six precious grandchildren. For relaxation, Nancy loves hugs from grandchildren, playing piano, and hiking. Nancy’s blog and GraceNotes newsletter signup are found at www.nancykaygrace.com.
Connect with Nancy: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / LinkedIn / Pinterest
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, How To Overcome Low Self-Esteem with Audacious Grace – Episode 173, Nancy is giving away a free copy of her devotional, The Grace Impact.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about growing in your identity in Christ and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, August 15, 2022. Continental United States only.
This has made me feel happier, stronger because of the closeness to the Lord. I am so thankful to you, so proud of this linkage.
Thanks for sharing! Be blessed!
I really appreciate this statement as I suffer from both of these things.
The shame of our imperfections and the ceaseless drive for perfection are barriers to fully accepting God’s love.
Pam, thanks for commenting. Yes, we put up barriers, not God. Praise God for His unconditional love!
That passage from Corinthians was transformative in my teen years.
It’s a powerful verse with promise to keep transforming us into the new creation God wants us to be. Be blessed!
I need to hold on the verses mentioned that will keep me in perfect peace. Lamentations 3:21-23 have been verses that start my day and make me feel covered by God’s love and care. I repeat these verses in the midst of my struggle as I am going through a difficult divorce. I must cling to God’s Word and His character to calm my fears and restore my hope for a better future.
Thanks for sharing. Keep looking to the Lord for comfort and care in this difficult time. May the Lord be your peace and strength.Praying for you!
I was very impatient in my younger years. I now know to let the little things go, the ones that annoyed me, and I’m happy to say that I am a more patient person.
Thanks for commenting! Yes, the little things can build up, but we have to remember the immensity of God’s love so we can grow. Be blessed!
I grew up striving for perfection never attaining it but walking on eggshells and always trying to never make a mistake. How frustrating it was. I did not ever hear until much older that we do not have to be perfect to be loved by God. I sought to know who I was in Christ. What did it mean to have Jesus as Savior. So thankful for this message to remind me of the joys of being a new creation in Christ. I fall into a pattern of trying to be perfect when I know God is not putting those on me but I am doing it or I feel that others have those expectations too. Thank you both for the wonderful helpful podcast and thank you Nancy for this blog. So good. I shared this on Facebook and would love to have your devotional.
Karen, thank you for stopping by! It’s easy to fall into the pattern of perfection instead of living in grace. I struggle with that, too. Be blessed!
Oh that we would grasp the power of our thoughts and learn self-control. I think it was Joyce Meyer who said we do not have to think every thought that pops into our head.
So true! Praise God we can re-program our minds with what the Lord says of our identity. Be blessed!
Growing in our grasp and living out of our identity in Christ is key to the abundant life in Christ. Great post!