The Bible says that when your identity is rooted in Christ, the fruits you produce in your life will be the evidence. So one of the best ways to be able to tell if someone truly has their identity rooted in Christ is by looking for the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.
There are many other ways to tell, however, that someone’s identity is truly rooted in Christ. Here are 3 ways you can tell if you are truly finding your identity in Christ. These points can also help you gauge whether or not someone else is rooted in Christ so you do not become unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14).
1. When Your Identity Is Rooted in Christ, You Will Not Be Controlled By People’s Perception of You
All humans must live from an identity. When we don’t know who we are or what we are here for, our life goes into a death spiral. We lose motivation, we lose focus, and nothing makes sense. It is impossible to live without an identity.
This is why if we do not find our identity in Christ, we will find it in something else. While many people would say they find their identity in their job, in their family, or even things like their athletic or academic abilities, the reality is these people are actually finding their identity in the praise of man.
When your identity is not rooted in Christ, you will gravitate towards whatever you get the most praise for doing. If you are really good at your job and people praise you for this, you will find your identity there. If you are very physically beautiful and people praise you for how you look, you will find your identity there. If you volunteer at church a lot and people praise you for this, you will find your identity there.
Being good at your job, being physically attractive, or being really helpful are not bad things. But they can become idols in our lives when we use them to get the attention and praises of other people. Galatians 1:10 states, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Romans 2:29 (NLT) also explain, “No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.”
If our identity is not rooted in Christ, we look for the thing that most resembles God. Since humans bear the image of God more than anything else in all of creation, we usually choose to worship the praises of man if God is not at the center of our lives.
2. When Your Identity Is Rooted in Christ, You Will Not Flaunt Your Earthly Status or Gifts
God gives people positions of earthly power so they can use it for the glory of God. God gives people earthly wealth so they can use it to serve those in need. God gives people gifts and talents so they can help those who do not have those gifts and so they can bring glory to God.
Obviously this does not always happen. God blesses people with earthly blessings, sadly the world rarely uses these gifts in the way God desires. One sign that someone’s identity is truly rooted in Christ, however, is when they do not flaunt their earthly status or gift but rather they use these things to love God and people. Notice what Jesus said in Luke 20:46-47,
Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
3. When Your Identity Is Rooted in Christ, You Will Be Able to Turn the Other Cheek When You Are Wronged
I personally do not know of a command in the Bible that people dislike more than what Jesus said about turning the other cheek. In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus states:
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
There’s no possible way you can obey these radical words of Jesus unless you are completely centered in Christ. These verses do not mean Christians should not report crimes of abuse. These verses do not mean that you must stay in relationships with people who are damaging your heart. For Proverbs 4:23 is clear that we must guard our hearts because life flows from the heart.
Nonetheless, Jesus clearly calls us to treat people better than they deserve. He calls us to show lavish grace to people who don’t deserve it. He calls us to act in ways that are completely unexplainable to the watching world.
When someone truly loves people even when those people are mistreating them, this is one of the clearest signs they are living for Christ. The reason we can treat people better than they deserve is because we are called to love people for God’s sake, not because the people deserve our love. God grants us grace and love us for his glory, and he calls his followers to do the same.
This is certainly not easy. It calls for the highest levels of Christian maturity. So when someone truly can turn the other cheek like Jesus said, this is a very clear sign that this person’s identity is rooted in Christ.