What if I told you that most Christians were wasting the second biggest benefit of being a Christian? The biggest is naturally that we go to Heaven for eternity rather than Hell, but that does us little good until we die, meaning that the biggest benefit to us on earth is largely wasted. This is the life-changing part of the Gospel, the part that non-Christians will look at that makes them want to know Christ, and the part that can give you a greater victory than any victory you’ve been seeking. So, what is it?
You have a new identity in Christ once you become saved that makes you more valuable than building any empire, having any job, acquiring any amount of wealth or power, or being the most attractive person ever could make you. Once you are saved, you cease becoming who you were and you become Jesus’ friend, a child of God, and His heir. You become part of the church, the Bride of Christ. There is no position higher outside of being God Himself.
Read that again. Slowly. Even the angels don’t have that promise. They don’t have grace and 1 Peter 1:12 says they long to look into God’s salvation in our lives.
What does that mean for us? It means that we no longer have to fight for positioning on earth. No more slavery to things which give us our value. Think about what this is for you for a moment. Do you give your all to your job, so that one comment from your boss can ruin your day? Do you feel an almost compulsive need to have dinner ready on time for your husband and the house clean? Do you constantly try to get more money, even when you have enough? Everyone (at least, everyone I’ve ever known) has something that can make them feel worthless if it’s taken away or attacked. And nearly everyone will try to keep that from happening, meaning they can be manipulated or, more often, manipulate themselves, into doing what is necessary to protect their self-worth. Stay in a bad relationship so they won’t be alone? Yep. Work 55 hours a week? If that’s what it takes.
People enslave themselves to whatever gives them value.
Jesus died not just to save you, but also that you could get your value from being God’s son or daughter. He died to set you free from your self-imposed slavery.
That’s what having true confidence is: knowing Whose child you are once you become saved. It’s not because you’re special and did something amazing because you can’t possibly earn this position. Ever. And this position is so much higher than anything on earth that fighting for position on earth is like two blue whales arguing over which of them is a millimeter longer.
This is not just God fulfilling our earthly desires so that we have enough. This is God giving us so much more than enough that what we’re seeking now doesn’t matter.
He does this for three reasons:
1. Because He knows that nothing you get when you’re getting your self-worth outside of Him will ever be enough because it won’t be permanent. There will always be another promotion, another relationship (or the fear that the one you’re in will fade or end), another possession to own, another achievement to earn. Always someone else to compete with. Always something new to win. There is never a point at which it is enough, at which you’ll truly be satisfied with yourself on a deep, permanent level.
2. Because He knows that you will cling to Him all the more tightly if you’re getting your sense of self-worth from Him. God doesn’t want our need for value to change; He simply wants to be where we get our value. We need to know Him as He truly is if we are to get our value from Him, and there is no way to do that save by seeking Him and spending time with Him.
3. Because it is when we stop competing with others that we are able to love them as He loves them. You cannot love someone while looking out for your needs and wants above theirs. You cannot truly love another person enough if you’re depending on them to tell you your value. It is only when you get your value from God alone that you are free of letting others’ opinions enslave you. It is this freedom, this peace that your God, your Father, loves you passionately that will make non-Christians notice the change in your life and want it for themselves.
True confidence, in short, is the freedom that comes with knowing you are a child of God, His heir, His friend, and the Bride of Christ. Nobody can take that away from you, and neither any failure nor any success can change that value. Once you become a Christian, you have this new identity available to you. All you have to do is embrace it.