A New Identity
We were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.
Our addictions may be so ingrained in us that we define our identity by them. It may feel like we are predisposed to behave as we do. And yet we're condemned for our behavior that feels out of our control! How can we let go of seeing ourselves primarily in terms of the kinds of addictions that dominate our lives?
One passage in Scripture seems to identify people by their behavior. It says, "Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God." This doesn't seem fair. We feel like we'll never be able to escape our addictive nature. But the passage goes on: "Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). "Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
God doesn't just erase the behavior. When we identify ourselves with Christ, he wants to give us a new identity. We'll always remember what we were and realize that our sin nature and our body may always be predisposed to a particular addiction. We'll still slip up, but we should no longer see our addiction as the definition of who we are.
God accepts us because our identity is found in Christ.