A Christian Before Anything
I became a Christ follower when I was 18 years old and a freshman in college. During that time, I went from being someone who merely believed intellectually in Christianity to a person who deeply desired to live for Christ. It was transformation that God brought about in my heart that changed everything for me–I began joyfully reading God’s Word; I loved singing worship songs; I started telling others about Jesus; I became aware of my sin and began hating it. Those early days were time of immense change and constant learning.
Many of the lessons from that time have remained with me over the years. In particular, is this: before I am anything else, I am a Christian. My identity as a Christ-follower possesses my ultimate allegiance and defines me more than anything else. I am a Christian before I am anything else.
This was true in 2001 and is true today, though what competes for my allegiance is different. Instead of school, relationships, and music competing to define me, now I have the roles of husband, father, and pastor. Considering this I remember: I am a Christian before I am a husband–recalling this leads me to love my wife out of love for Christ. I am a Christian before I am a father–knowledge of this leads me to pray for my daughter and seek to train her up in the ways of the LORD. I am a Christian before I am a pastor/church planter–being aware of this reminds me that my ministry does not define me, Jesus does and has made me a child of God.
A Christian is someone who places Christ as their greatest hope, joy, and love. God is first their life and possess ultimate allegiance and devotion. If we are Christians, let us realign our hearts, minds, and actions to this reality.