404 Our Story Is Not Our Identity

Our Story Is Not Our Identity

This is a guest post by Chris Lautsbaugh. If you are interested in guest posting, you can find out more about it here.

Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/

Our family has recently completed a journey to adopt and immigrate our son from South Africa. This process took over four years and included custody, name changes, countless documents, and finally culminated in him receiving his US citizenship and passport.

I’ve been reflecting on this journey recently. My son’s identity has changed. He has a new name, a new country, and a new family heritage.

This does not change his story. Where he came from will always be a part of his life, but how he is known is completely different.

It is this way with all of us. Our past is a part of who we are, but we have a new identity through Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17

This is so clear through the example of Abraham. Look at these two verses side by side and notice the difference.

Genesis 17:17“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

Romans 4:19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.”

The Genesis account is the facts. Abraham indeed fell on his face and laughed. He knew his body was as good as dead. His past is a part of his story.

The Romans account is the same story through the eyes of a new identity. Abraham is now seen through the eyes of being counted as righteous (Romans 4:5). It is as if the laughter never happened. Paul can truly say Abraham never weakened in his faith when he considered his own body. That’s how serious God takes his new identity.


Read it again, it really says that.

My son will always have where he came from as a part of his unique story. Those are the facts. His past does and will shape him.

But his identity is changed. His past is not a prison, but merely a chapter in the story.

He has a new name, a new family heritage, and a new citizenship.

As is ours. We always remember the facts of our story and the ways it has shaped us. Yet these memories are not our identity.

  • Paul calls the Corinthians “sanctified and saints“, even when their lives don’t look so saintly.(1 Cor. 1:2)
  • He tells the Ephesians they are in Christ. (Eph. 1:3)
  • Revelation says believers are clothed in white. (Rev. 5:5, 22:14)
  • Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), but our story comes from Earth.

Perhaps we would be better served to focus on our identity, not merely our story.

What part of your identity do you need to be reminded of today?


Chris Lautsbaugh is married to Lindsey with two boys, Garett and Thabo. He has served in missions for the last 20 years, currently in South Africa. He blogs at www.nosuperheroes.com and has written “Death of the Modern SuperHero: How Grace Breaks our Rules“. Chris is a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.



  1. Thanks, Chris – I can identity with this. Our story is what we tell ourselves – but it is not necessarily the correct story. God’s love and grace can rewrite it for sure – I’m grateful for that.
    Cindy Holman recently posted..What’s Your Story?

  2. I loved this line:

    “Where he came from will always be a part of his life, but how he is known is completely different.”

    This was such a great post, Chris. Thank you for sharing it!

  3. What an incredible journey you and your family have been on! I so appreciate this perspective– especially the “contrast” in the story of Abraham. If we could truly accept the truth that God is not disappointed with our pasts but empowers us in our present and secures our futures, we could rest more in this grace. It really is foreign to our human nature…even accepting grace is accomplished by grace. Thank you & abundant blessings!

    • I totally agree Alyssa. Its always interesting when Paul greets the churches, he uses the phrase grace and peace in that order. The more we accept grace, the more peace comes in our lives.

      The “contrast” with Abraham is one of my favorite in all of the Bible! Thanks
      Chris Lautsbaugh recently posted..Guest Posting Today


  1. […] Guest Post Today: Our Story Is Not Our Identity February 24, 2012 — Leave a comment Today I am guest posting at Tony Alicea’s blog, Expect the Exceptional. I pursue the difference between our story and our identity by considering the journey of adopting our son. Click here to read the post! […]

  2. […] Friday, I posted on Tony Alicea’s Blog. The article was showing how through adoption, our story is no longer our identity. If you missed it, go have a look HERE.  […]

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