You can really only be one of two things as a human being.
At the most pivotal level, every one of us has only one of two identities. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
First: How we view ourselves dictates most of what we do and what we think we need. If you think you’re an intrinsically good person, you won’t look for wrongs you’ve committed to apologize for. You’ll probably be befuddled or defensive when people act angry with, or hurt by, you.
If you think of yourself primarily as a failure, you’ll probably look for the worst in everything you’ve done and live in fear of or shame from it.
Identity precedes behavior.
If you think your problem is squarely in your ADHD and not your sin, you’ll seek more therapy and less forgiveness. Your fundamental view of yourself will be “ADHD sufferer.” Nothing to apologize here for, folks, I simply have a disorder.
Now, we do, as human beings touched by sin and the bodies that it breaks and the societies it corrupts, have broken kidneys and brains and pancreases sometimes. We get screwed because of our skin color or the fact that a parent deserted us or beat us sometimes. It’s okay for us to admit that those things can be parts of who we are. And it’s okay to seek treatment or political recourse or family help for them.
But Jesus did not die on the cross primarily to fix people whose biggest and truest problems were things which could be fixed by Ambien or psychotherapy or affirmative action.
We are not primarily patients in need of treatment nor victims in need of programs nor nice people in need of the government leaving us alone.
We are primarily sinners in need of God’s forgiveness.
“The righteousness of God [is] through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
“Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.'”
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Jesus, and the apostles he saved and sent out to seek the lost and tell them the Good News, divided the world up. Sometimes Jesus referred to the division as sheep and goats, sometimes wheat and chaff, sometimes light and dark, and at least once children of God and children of the Devil.
But the thrust of it was this: We have all sinned against God; there are now those who have accepted God’s offer of peace and forgiveness by believing in His Son and those who have not.
Born from above or born from below.
Born of the Spirit or chained to the flesh.
The bad news? None of us are who the average psychiatrist or politician would say we are. You can’t chart our most important, inbred identity (sinner) on a census form. And the fix isn’t that simple either. It isn’t a pill or a therapy or a school voucher or a governmental reform.
In fact the solution for our sinful position, our truest identity, is (humanly speaking) flat out impossible. Dr. Oz and Barack Obama could put their heads together for 48 straight hours, but they ain’t fixing what’s really wrong with you or me.
Can’t be done by this world’s best brains or hands, no matter how skilled or well meaning.
The good news? The impossible fix is now being offered to you, free and clear. It’s been accomplished by Another.
The perfect blood and sinless life of Jesus Christ, His sacrificial death and great resurrection, can clean your soul. Can bring you alive to the one true God and to His ways of goodness.
Jesus can do for you what only Jesus can do for you.
You are not primarily a woman in need of empowerment.
You are not primarily a man in need of respect.
You are not primarily an autism spectrum sufferer in need of therapy.
You are not primarily a white man or a black man in need of a voice.
You are not primarily a single person in need of romantic love.
You are not primarily a good guy or girl in need of a nice turn of financial luck.
You are, before all other real or imagined personality traits and needs, a willful sinner in need of a Savior. A wicked and spiritually dead human in desperate need of forgiveness.
You can only have, in the most meaningful sense, one of two identities: Forgiven or Unforgiven. Sheep or Goat. Found or Lost. Saint or still-dead-sinner.
Repent of, turn from, your sin and believe in Jesus Christ. He knocks at the door as only He can, offering what only He has the authority to offer.
Jesus Christ promises many wonderful things. He will fix all the broken broken bodies of His believers by giving them new ones. He will utterly destroy all earthly injustices and crimes at the end of all things. But the greatest gift, of all that He gives, is peace with, communion with, adoption by God.
Believe in Jesus Christ and become something else. Something better. Something new.