I’ve noticed that practically everything, from our job to our citizenship to a thorn in the side, has an easier time sliding to the forefront of our minds than does our identity in Christ.
Take singleness. You’ll find no suggestion on this blog that singleness isn’t hard for some people. And you could ask ten singles why it’s hard and get ten different reasons. For some, it’s just the loneliness; for others, it’s marginalization by the church, missing out on invites, being seen only for your marital status and not for you. Though singleness is a productive season in God’s eyes, there’s no doubt it has its thorns.
Gradually, over the course of time, you might find that singleness is hanging over your soul. It’s become your identity. You honestly don’t think of much else.
No doubt singleness is influential. It filters into all the details of your life as surely as marriage does (it’s like sand – it gets everywhere), and that matters to God. But once it becomes a bigger deal than your identity in Christ, when the latter just doesn’t seem to matter as much, it is possible that we’ve left joy and truth behind? No season of our lives should usurp our identity in Christ.
It’s even better to be noticed by God than to be noticed by a human.
It’s even better to celebrate Christmas than to have people to spend it with.
It’s even better to be mature in the faith than to be doing the things church people consider “grown-up stuff.”
It’s even better to take God’s word to the nations alone than to raise a family without ever telling anyone about Jesus.
It’s even better to have your name in the Book of Life than in a wedding guestbook.
It’s even better to be given by God “a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one else knows” (Rev 2:17) than to change your last name.
It’s even better to get invites to the Lamb’s wedding feast than to get invites from other married couples because you have kids, too.
It’s even better to be made acceptable by Jesus’ blood than to be accepted by people – though rejection still hurts.
It’s even better to get God’s unbreakable promises than human vows that will be neglected weekly (such as “to honor and cherish”).
And when we sigh and struggle just to care about God’s delight in us, we find how long we’ve spent outside the influence of Christ’s identity for us.
I don’t mean to guilt. Let us find God’s grace. I believe he cares very much about our heart’s desires and, for many of us, is still turning the cranks on his plan to fulfill them.
But remember – it is only out of our identity in Christ that we can do our part to fulfill God’s plan anyway. It’s only out of our identity in Christ that we will catch the notice of a true disciple, become a good spouse and parent, or live out our other kingdom purposes in the meantime.
“Single” works better as an adjective. The cross and empty tomb are our nouns.
Take back your joy and your status as “more than a conqueror” in God’s love. While we wait for our human families of our own, let us celebrate being invited into God’s. For when we thank him for it, meditate upon it, and celebrate it, it will take a turn overshadowing all else.
I’m glad you tuned in today. If you found this post to be of value, please feel free to share it on social media. Thanks a bunch!