Several years ago on a very busy day, I stopped by the nail salon I had frequented for several years. I did not have time to get my nails done on this particular day, but planned to schedule an appointment while there. I had a list of things to do before attending a lunch meeting, so when I arrived at the salon I had no plans to linger.
The precious ladies at the salon were all Vietnamese, with only a couple who could communicate well in English. The girl who normally did my nails was not at her station, so I approached the girl standing in the back. I began by asking to purchase gift certificates for my daughters. As we walked to the front counter, she was still trying to understand what I wanted. After several attempts to communicate more effectively, she finally understood and proceeded to complete the forms. Asking for a receipt extended this labored conversation and my concerns began to rise over my ability to arrive at my meeting on time.
Gift certificates and receipt finally in hand, I am ready to schedule my appointment. Given the challenges already experienced, I very distinctly say…
“I would like an appointment for tomorrow and I would like for Kim to do my nails.”
The girl behind the counter replies…
“I do your nails. What time?”
I graciously respond, with a brief hand motion in the direction of my regular girl’s station…
“No thank you. Kim has been doing my nails for a long time and I would like her to do them tomorrow.”
As if she hasn’t heard me, she says…
“I do your nails. What time?”
Again I respond…
“Really, thank you so much, but just schedule me with Kim.”
“I do your nails. What time??
I am now very frustrated with this delay, and the fact that our conversation is going in circles. Patience and grace have left me and with exaggerated hand motions, I turn and point to Kim’s station, saying…
“Kim (point). The girl who sits here (point). I want her (point dramatically) to do my nails. Tomorrow.”
And with largely exaggerated arm motions, the girl points to herself repeatedly, saying…
“THAT ME ! I KIM !!”
I had no words. Not until that exact moment did I recognized that I had indeed been talking to the very same girl who had been doing my nails for over a year! Having only myself on my mind, when I went to the back of the salon to the person standing in the corner, I mistook her for the other woman who is normally in that station. I was so embarrassed.
I fumble through an apology…
“I am so sorry….I don’t know why….”
She very sweetly looks at me and says….
“But you look beautiful today!”
Great. I’m a total moron, but I look good. Her gracious behavior only served to make me feel more ashamed. How could I be so focused on me as to not recognize who was right there with me?? I almost didn’t go back for the appointment the next day.
I would like to suggest to you today that many of us often mistake identities. Our own. Perhaps you’ve said things to yourself, about yourself, without recognizing the Spirit of God within….
“I wish I were strong and confident…”
“I am! I live in you and I make you strong and confident.”
“I can’t handle the pressures coming against me…”
“I can! I abide with you, making you able to bear these things and be victorious.”
“If someone would just love me, I would be complete…”
“I do! I have lavished My love on you. You are complete in Me .”
When we came to Christ, He came to us. He took up permanent residence in us, never to leave us or forsake us. Yet we so often look at our mistakes and failures and identify more with them than Him. He gave us a new identity:
” It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” Ephesians 2:10
“…made us alive together with Christ…” Ephesians 2:5
“you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession…” 1 Peter 2:9
Just in the first two chapters of Ephesians we are described as loved, blameless, forgiven, holy, redeemed, saints and chosen by God. That passage also says we’ve already been given grace, peace, His favor, every spiritual blessing, wisdom, understanding, power and numerous other things.
It’s time we take this identity!! God no longer sees us as lost sinners who are unable to please Him. He has adopted us as His children and sealed this deal with His Spirit coming to inhabit us. We really have been made new creatures!
We take this new identity by faith:
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Our transformation starts with faith – believing what God says about us no matter how we see ourselves.
“For it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you – energizing and creating in you the power and desire – both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” Philippians 2:13
“Now may the God of peace…strengthen and make you what you ought to be….” Hebrews 13:20-21
The new you, the real you, has been right there with you from the moment you met Christ!