ESFP. Enneagram Type 7. SI. These may look like random letters and numbers to you, but in the world of personality tests, they mean something. Each personality – each person – has the potential for inspiringly beautiful strengths and devastating weaknesses. But in a world that values self-actualization and embracing the true you, we must be sure not to grow apathetic or defensive towards our sin, justifying it because “that’s just the way I am.” Though God made us uniquely each with our own personalities, we must realize that our sin is not our identity and our power to overcome it is not our own.
My sin is not my identity
By God’s grace, if you are in Christ, your identity is not in the things you do. Ever.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Perhaps we were once defined by our sin, but through the work of Jesus on the cross, we are made new. Our sin was washed away; we are forgiven and made clean. We are made right with God; we are made righteous. And we didn’t do any of it. God did it all! When we excuse sin because “that’s just the way I am,” or “I was just made this way,” we wrongly place our identity back in what we once were instead of who we are made into through Jesus. He doesn’t call us idolaters, thieves, or drunkards. When we are in Christ, He calls us holy, blameless, forgiven, children, and saints (see Ephesians 1). Our sin is not our identity; our identity is only found in what Jesus has done and in His righteousness.
My power is not my own
Sometimes our sin clings so tightly that we may feel it’s too much to deal with, so we accept it as “just the way I am.” By our own power that may be true, but we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us. If you trust in Jesus, you have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11). And Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” If the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, and if God is able to do more than all we ask or think, then surely the Holy Spirit in us has power to overcome our sin – even the sin that seems so much as a part of ourselves. We must rely on the power of God in us – the Holy Spirit – to make us look more like that which our identity truly is.
Do we believe our sin is acceptable because it’s just a part of our personality or how we were made? Do we think our sin is indestructible because it feels like it’s so much a part of ourselves? Your sin is not “just the way you are.” You have a far better identity in Christ and a far stronger power in the Holy Spirit.