Carrying a False ID?
Do you regularly carry some form of identification with you, especially when you leave the house? Most of us have a driver's license, passport, or identification card of some kind. Some have that information in their smartphone, while others carry a wallet full of identifying information. Is it that tiny card you carry that really identifies who you are? Is it possible to carry a bit of 'false identification' with us? Yes, there are many people who produce such 'false IDs' because there is both a demand for them and a profit to be made. It is possible we may be carrying some sort of 'false identification' with us apart from those cards that could be carried in our wallets. That 'false ID' is the one we carry along with us because we feel shame for our past - identifying with our failures and not the hope we are given in Christ Jesus.
And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
When we believed, there was an exchange of identification - we came into a new family. We moved from the family of unbelievers into the family of believers. We took on a new image - Christ's image. We took on a new character - Christ in us, working through us, creating new desires and passions. So, why do we continue to carry around that false identification of 'sinner', 'unclean', 'impure', or 'unholy'? We are none of these things if we have said 'yes' to Jesus. We are identified as his own - we carry a new identification - the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.
When we identify with our sinful past and not with our redeemed present, we are likely doing so because of some element of shame we have internalized due to our past sinful indulgences. When we have done 'dishonorable' things, it is not uncommon to experience bad 'feelings' about our actions. Keep nursing those feelings long enough and you actually begin to identify yourself as whatever that sin is. This is shame - identifying with the sin because we regret over and over again the sinful actions we have taken. There is a lot to be said for grace, but one of the very precious things we can know about grace is that we are no longer identified with that sin.
We have been given a new ID, but we might just hold onto that 'false identification' for a while because we don't trust we will 'live up to' the new identity we have been given. The truth is that we probably won't live up to it in our own power, but that is why we were given the Holy Spirit - to help us live 'beyond' that previous identification! Just sayin!