A new identity

Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ,

This is a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—

Sin is no longer calling the shots in our life!

Are you kidding me? Do we believe this is true:

If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death,

we are also included in his life-saving resurrection.

We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead

it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end.

Never again will death have the last word.

When Jesus died, he took sin down with Him,

He is now alive he brings God down to us.

Sin now speaks a dead language that means nothing to us;

Our new language is God speak

We only hear God’s Word now!

We only respond to God’s voice!

That’s why His Word is what we memorize & meditate on

in fact we hang on every word He says.

We don’t listen to the lies in our head anymore!

We don’t get strung out by what others say about us!

We are dead to sin & alive to God.

We don’t give sin a vote in the way we conduct our lives.

We don’t give it the time of day.

We don’t even connect with that old way of life.

We avoid the old stuff. We don’t hang there anymore

Our whole heart is full-time for Jesus

We’ve been raised from the dead!—

Sin can’t tell us how to live now.

We’re not living under that old tyranny any longer.

We’re living in the freedom of God. …

Romans 6:6-14 paraphrased

We’re to change our sense of identity,

We’re to establish new thoughts about who we are,

Our new view of ourselves is dead to sin and alive to Christ.

And the more we see this, the more we will dethrone sin & weaken its power.

In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear

depicts the three levels at which change can occur as layers of an onion:

Layer 1. Identity:

This is the centre of the onion & involves changing our beliefs,

our worldview, our self-image, our judgments.

Layer 2. Processes:

The next layer is changing your habits and systems. This is the habits layer.

Layer 3. Outcomes:

The outside layer is changing your results. This is the goals layer.

He explains,

Outcomes are about what you get.

Processes are about what you do.

Identity is about what you believe pages 30-31

each of these levels are involved in change but most people start with goals

(what they want to achieve/what they want to do)

rather than identity

(what they believe/who they are).

Clear argues,

the more we start with identity, who we want to become, the more change we will see.

“It’s hard to change your habits

if you never change the underlying beliefs

that led to your past behavior.

You have a new goal and a new plan,

but you haven’t changed who you are” page 31

The key to change, then, is identity change.

For example, instead of saying,

“I’m trying to stop smoking,” say, “I’m not a smoker.”

“True behavior change is identity change.

You might start a habit because of motivation,

but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity…

Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are” page 34

The goal is not to stop or start something, it’s to become someone.

Behaviors are a reflection of our identity.

“Research has shown that once a person believes

in a particular aspect of their identity,

they are more likely to act in alignment with that belief” page 34

This connection between identity & habit

also raises serious questions about identifying by saying,

I’m an alcoholic. Or I’m an angry person. Or, I’m unchangeable.

That’s not a core part of our identity.

“Becoming the best version of yourself

requires us to continuously edit our beliefs,

and to upgrade and expand our identity” page 36

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