Finding your identity in Christ is one of the biggest foundations of the Christian faith but often times we fail, I know I do.

In 2008, I started the brand BleedTechBlue after a friend approached me. Since I have a degree in Computer Information Systems, I am an alumnus of Louisiana Tech and lastly was single with lots of time on my hands, it made sense. BleedTechBlue is a brand that reports on Louisiana Tech sports through a website and radio show. During my time as Publisher it grew exponentially.

February 1, 2017, it was time to let someone else take over BTB.

The why, is where I meet you today.

Being a Christian was something I always held dear. I was raised in a Christian home, was at church anytime the doors were open – even sometimes when they weren’t. I always heard, “let go and let God.” It never really made much sense to me though. Probably because I’m a control freak and struggle mightily when I’m not. There lies the rub.

Now, a little background information is needed. I grew up overweight and as everyone knows, overweight children are bullied – it had a profound effect on me. A feeling of inadequacy was born and is something I struggle with to this day.

With the growth of BTB came people thinking I was the authority on a subject. Given my struggles with inadequacy, I finally felt adequate in an area of my life – it was intoxicating. More over, words of affirmation are one of my main love languages, which just complicated matters.

That feeling of being the authority on a subject led to me being far from humble. I was more concerned with more followers, likes and subscribers than anything else – including how being so consumed by BTB made my wife feel.

Burn out had set in and I even talked about it with my wife and some close friends. I was ready for BTB to be over. Then, God revealed to me I had been finding my identity in BTB instead of Him. It was time to hand BTB over to someone else.

FINDING OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST

As Christ followers, we are called by Jesus to take up our cross and follow Him in Luke 9:23. Further, in marriage we become one flesh with our spouse, a concept I never fully committed to – until now. Now, I am committed to righteousness and have given up control of my life and I’m allowing Him to lead me like a child. Children follow their parents with complete trust and no regard for where they’re being led.

In Isaiah chapter 1 verses 16 and 17, Isaiah wrote:

16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17     learn to do good;
seek justice,
    correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
    plead the widow’s cause. (ESV)

PIPER: “ALL THINGS ARE YOURS”

Modern day theologian, John Piper, addressed the class of 2013 of Bethlehem College and Seminary (transcript found here) and reminded them all things are ours in Christ.

This excerpt especially rang true for me.

When the craving for the kudos that come from being in the know about the latest prominent music group, or athletic team, or movie, or pastor, or theologian, or book, or mobile app, or political guru tempts you to attach yourself to them, don’t do it. You don’t to need to do it, because all things are yours.

Man, that hit me square between the eyes. Through BTB I had relationships that put me “in the know” about all things Louisiana Tech.

Thank you Mr. Piper for speaking truth.

FASTING FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

Before Ben Carlisle took over as publisher of BTB officially, I deleted Facebook and Instagram from my phone and stopped going to them even from a computer. Any one close to me would tell you, I was one of those people who was so distracted by my phone I could hardly focus when out in public. At home, this was true too. Being disengaged with your spouse is not being “one flesh.”

A recent post on Relevant.com really resonated with me. I was seeking very unhealthy validation through social media.

But my need for affirmation can turn—and in the past has turned—into an unhealthy search for validation. In seeking to get my need met, at times, I have given people far too much power to validate or invalidate me.

Like many other people, I will check to see if anyone liked that status or commented on that picture far too frequently. I will refresh and refresh, wondering: “Has anyone shared my blog post yet?” “Did I get more subscribers this week?” “Is my traffic up today?” “Please let this go viral.”

Does this sound like you? I hope you’ll consider a fast from social media.

CHALLENGE: DISCONNECT IN A CONNECTED WORLD

Along with a fast, I’d like to challenge all of us in this connected world we live in.

When you go home today, put your phone on your dresser or in a drawer out of sight and spend quality time with people close to you.

The next time you go out to dinner, leave your phone in your vehicle and challenge those with you to do the same. Connect with them in conversation.

Be present.

10 thoughts on “Identity in Christ

  1. Very inspiring JFord!! I am fearful MANY of our young adults are being trapped by social media. Your testimony will hopefully impact many lives. Remember, everything in moderation…too much of anything especially if it robs you of your time/relationship with Jesus Christ is bad for you. “If Satan can’t make you bad, he will make you busy.”

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