You should see my high school letterman coat. It’s flat-out impressive, even from a distance. But if you just look at it from afar, you’ll probably get a completely inaccurate idea about who I am.
When it comes to understanding your covenant identity, we have to invite others into our lives. Jesus invites us. Jesus invites YOU, to find who you really are IN HIM. AND, He invites us to do that in community.
Invitation is about being summoned into a relationship where you have access to a person’s life and all the vibrancy, safety, love and encouragement that reside there. Up close, you clearly see Jesus at work in people’s lives. But that requires access. By extending and accepting invitation, you also accept the challenge that comes with it: The challenge to live into your identity as a son or daughter of the King.
Remember – Peter was CLOSE to Jesus. We cannot expect to know, assign, or understand identity from a distance.
You have to get close to see the real person, or you could be incredibly off-track.
My coat – what it looks like from afar does nothing to explain who I am. It looks like an athlete, a champion. And while I competed, and even won, it had nothing to do with athleticism.
We cannot expect to know, assign, or understand identity from a distance.
Getting close to other people is a risk, but it’s worth it. You’ll make more progress in discovering your covenant identity when you’re in community than you will ever make alone.
How to champion identity in your brothers and sisters:
- Low control, high accountability. We have to talk to each other about who we are, and let each other in. It should be natural to talk about what God is defining in you, bc it should be normal that He is!
- You cannot define someone’s identity for them, and they cannot define yours for you. But you can both ask God to help your brother or sister.
- You cannot control someone’s identity, but you can challenge it. Ask if they’re being honest with themselves.
- You should never have a goal to break someone’s identity, their true self-image. However, good friends always build each other’s identity.
This is how we build covenant identity for ourselves and with each other.
There are definitely more hurdles in this idea of forward progress, and we’ll start in on those another time. But first, we have to know who WE are, not someone else, so we can move forward in a healthy way.