Do Not Confuse Identity with Mission

by Herald of Truth

Do Not Confuse Identity with Mission


I have a very clear identity as a Christian.  My identity is Christ follower.  So as a believer, there are things that become core to my lifestyle.  They become who I am.  I think it is very clear what our identity is — to be a disciple who walks in the steps of my Master.  Do what Jesus did.  Treat people the way Jesus did.  Talk the way he talked.


Living out my identity is summed up in two things:  Love God.  Love others.  These are the two greatest commands.  These are the filters for all my life decisions. 


But who I am is not the same as my mission as a Christian. 


My mission in this world is to make more followers of Jesus. 


But I try to never confuse my identity and my mission.


If I see my identity as my mission, then it is very easy to make the Christian life a series of do’s and don’ts.  You stress the outward acts because your mission is to be like Jesus.  It then becomes so easy to forget the reason for the actions.  If how you live becomes mission instead of identity, it can result in a legalistic, superficial Christianity.  Do it enough and you become like the Ephesus church Jesus wrote to in Revelation.  They were commended for their hard work and good deeds, but they had forgotten their first love.  Making identity into mission.  Do good because that is what you are supposed to do.  Not because that is who you are.

Live forgiven.  Serve others.  Do good.  Because that is who you are.  Because you love God and others.

But don’t make your mission your identity.

When you start making disciples your identity, you can easily begin to count numbers.  How many baptisms?  Making the results the core of whether you are pleasing God.  Bigger buildings, more programs, more staff because our mission has become our identity. 

So be who God intended you to be.  Love him and love the people in your world.  But do not get off mission.  We must tell our world the good news about Jesus.  But also remember that mission grows out of identity. 


Focused on Jesus life.  On point in mission to offer life to others. 

-Steve Ridgell

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