KEEPING THE FAITH: Who you really are

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 04:32 PM.

It is bark on the tree, protecting what is inside. And when that bark gets peeled back, and life will surely peel it back, then most of us discover that we are pretty hollow on the inside. We lack substance. We are just names and numbers without any real identity. We haven’t let the Christ-life be fashioned within us, thus we have no self except the false, egotistical one that we have carefully manicured.

The short of it is this: We are un-crucified (if such a word exists). For when the nails of Providence painfully pierce our self-centeredness, we choose to jump down from our crucifixion. When the fires of God’s grace rise to burn away the shoddy lives we have constructed from bits of straw and chaff, we leap from the altar as quickly as possible. When the weight of the cross, the cross that would crush and remake us, falls heavy on our shoulders, we crawl from beneath the load before it finishes its work.

Yet, the forging of faith and the making of lasting Christ-centered identity is only accomplished by means of execution. By loss. By the death of the false self. So as long as you protect what you think is yours, so long as you struggle to avoid all necessary suffering, so long as you refuse to relinquish the identity you have constructed, you will never become who Christ would make you — the real you — the you that can never be thieved away. 

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at

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