for one look at self…

… we ought to take ten looks at Christ

In a great book about spirituality, The Hidden Life: Thoughts on Communion with God, Adolph Saphir says, “for one look at self, we ought to take ten looks at Christ.”

My church just finished up a nine week series on our identity as Christians. We focused on being children of God made in the image of God. I still have questions about how a Christian is to understand their identity, but I have finally landed on one thing:

it’s not really about our identity, it’s about our relationship to Christ

I can keep asking questions about who I am, what it means to be made in the image of God, what it means to be a child of God, and what my identity looks like as it is changing to be rooted in God. But those questions miss the point. The real question is, who is Christ, and am I getting to know him? The more we come to know Christ, the more we come to remain in God, the more we will be transformed, the more our identity will lie in the One who created and redeemed us. The more we learn to hear the voice of God and respond, the more we hear God’s words through Scripture resonating in our minds and hearts, the more we will find our identity rooted in God rather than the things of this world.

We can glance at ourselves and ask where our identity lies, but for every one glance at who we are, we need ten good long looks to Christ. I just bet our own identity will follow suit.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. – John 15:4


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