Summary: God has given each one of us a new identity through Jesus Christ and a unique personality.
Christian Identity & Personality
In a previous sermon we have seen that we are called to produce results. We have also seen the influencing factors that impact our ability to bear fruits for the Kingdom.
So if we have to produce excellent results, bear fruits for the Kingdom, we need to start at the core, which is our identity. All of us are born with a defective identity, which is based on Relationships we experience in early years, Our own sinful nature, Our attachments, Possessions, Accomplishments, Dreams, Memories, Friendships etc. We need to first accept that fact, and take God’s help to shed the imperfect identity, and acquire the Christian identity that God has intended for us. Our identity is not that of slave but that of a son, and a son also becomes a heir. This realization is important for us while we live our faith in our workplace. In other words, we cannot have one identity for work life and another identity for faith life. This is our core and the core has to be the same. The moment we realise that we are co heirs to the Kingdom along with Jesus, our whole out look towards the workplace issues and challenges would change, and acquire a different perspective.
We do not attain the Christian identity in symbols or dress or the type of books we read, or the TV channels we watch, or whether we quote the bible in our discussions with everyone. There are a few things that help us to attain the Christian identity.
How can we form our Christian Identity? ( the four pre requisites to “conversion”)
1) A sense of Belonging (From Jehovah I came.. ); Galatians 4:7 : So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Colossians 3:3 : For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Romans 8:17 : Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.
2) A healthy attitude to ones death ; 1 Corinthians 15:55 (Our ability to live a Christian life at workplace, and bear fruit will heavily hinge on this belief that there are things beyond this life that we need to be concerned about.)
3) A willingness to confront Difficult issues.. (Estrangement in relationships, Unwillingness to accept the fact that we are not just victims but agents, The need to repent of any sins or lapses etc)
4) A Loving spirit that reaches out to others; 1 Peter 4:10
The difference that these four principles make to our workplace relationships is huge.
There is always controversy surrounding this question. Should a true Christian try to know himself? Or should he just focus on knowing God? There are a number of people who misquote John 3:30 and say that we must become nothing.
At MLM we believe that Knowing Self is a pre requisite to knowing God. There are some Christian Leaders who agree with us.
There is no deep knowing of God without the deep knowing of self, and no deep knowing of self without the deep knowing of God: John Calvin (In his book: The Institutes of Christian Religion)
Grant, Lord, that I may know myself as I know thee : A prayer composed by Augustine (Fifth Century Church leader)
There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, and my happiness depend; to discover myself in discovering God: Thomas Merton, a modern day writer
I would go as far as to say that the teaching that we should focus on God and Christ alone and not seek to understand ourselves and our identity as new creatures in Christ is not Christian but anti-Christian. Selwyn Hughes, writer of “Every Day With Jesus”
Psalm 51:6 tells us that the Lord desires truth in our inner parts and He teaches us wisdom in the inmost place. Let us look at Peter’s declaration in Mathew 26:35. Lat us look at David and Bathsheba. Our belief is that unless we know ourselves, we cannot surrender our deepest fears, deepest desires and deepest sins to God. Unless we know our selves very well, we cannot possibly open all the rooms of our house to Christ. Unless we know ourselves well, we run the risk of misleading our followers, and we need to remember Jesus’ warning in Mathew 18:6, if we mislead our followers.
Our Lord created each one of us in a unique manner. Each one of us has been given a distinct identity which is known as our personality
MLM can help you understand your personality type ( it is recommended that you do the Personality test at our website www.menorahleadership.com/ptt . In case you are unable to do it on the web, a hard copy form can be made available to you.