Often, we allow our past failures, broken relationships, or painful experiences to shape our sense of self-worth. We trap ourselves with the burden of guilt or shame, allowing it to hold us back from living confidently in the present. I used to frequently dwell on my past, but I’m thankful to the person in my life who often told me, “don’t let your past hold you hostage!” At the time, I thought it was an overly dramatic statement, but with hindsight, I now understand the truth behind it.
The truth is, as Christians, we possess a new identity in Christ. The Bible assures us that we become new creations through our faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This means our old self is crucified with Christ, and we are raised to new life in Christ. This transformation goes beyond outward changes and affects our very nature and identity.
However, embracing this new identity is often easier said than done. Here are a couple of ways to help us break free from the chains of our past and confidently embrace who God has called us to be:
Embrace God’s Forgiveness: We need to truly comprehend the depth of God’s forgiveness. When we humbly repent, He promises to forgive and cleanse us from all our sins, which is only made possible by the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross. Psalm 103:12 assures us that our transgressions are removed as far as the east is from the west. Micah 7:19 says our sins are cast into the depths of the sea. The Apostle Paul boldly declares in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. These promises testify to the truth that our past holds no power to define us when we surrender our lives to Christ.
Renew Your Mind: Our thoughts greatly influence how we perceive ourselves. To break free from past labels, align your thinking with God’s truth. Meditate on Scriptures that remind us of our identity in Christ, such as: children of God (John 1:12), God’s special possession (1 Peter 2:9), fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). By filling our minds with God’s Word, we can replace negative thoughts and self-doubt with His promises of love, acceptance, and grace.
Confidence in our identity is not about arrogance or self-reliance but about trusting in God’s unchanging character. It is knowing that His love and grace surpass any mistakes we have made. It’s understanding that our past is not what defines us but rather the transformative work of Christ in our lives.
Our true identity in Christ allows us to walk in freedom and confidence, knowing we are loved, forgiven, and redeemed. By embracing our new identity and leaving behind the burdens of the past, we open ourselves to the abundant and joyful life that Jesus offers us.
If you know that your true identity is in Christ and were baptised as a child or a long time ago, confirmation presents a wonderful opportunity for you to publicly reaffirm your faith in front of friends and family. We have an upcoming Confirmation Service on 23 July, with time to reflect on your relationship with Jesus and join together in prayer as you recommit your life to Him. If you are considering confirmation, please speak to one of the clergy.