I’ve been studying up on image and identity in preparation for a sermon series on these topics. Since our culture has a pragmatic feelings-based view of image and identity, I thought it would be good to talk about what Scripture says about these things. One book I’m reading is called Face Time by Kristen Hatten. It is a book aimed more at young women – specifically teens who are struggling with who they are. But Hatten’s insights are helpful for any Christian thinking about their image and identity as followers of Jesus. The book has two main parts: 1) Your True Identity, and 2) Facing False Identities. It’s not a long book (130 pages), and it’s not difficult to read, but it is full of Christian wisdom on image and identity.
Here’s one section about Eve’s sin that I highlighted and underlined:
…Adam and Eve had no reason to doubt God’s love, loyalty, and promise to bless them. He literally had just given them the world! This is why their response [to Satan’s temptation] is so astonishing. Instead of responding in shock to Satan’s attack on God’s authority, word, and character, the words of the serpent opened Eve’s eyes to a new version of reality. At that moment, what Eve perceived to be true held more weight than the truth and authority of God’s word and all that he had done for them and given them. The once-forbidden tree she now aw as good and she defiantly ate from it.
We might say that Eve is the first relativist; she sees herself as the ultimate judge of reality and truth. She may be the first relativist, but she’s certainly not the last. Don’t we often do the same thing? We decide what’s true based on what we think, not on what God’s Word says to be true. Even if what we see is nothing more than a filtered Instagram picture, it can carry more weight in determining how we view ourselves than what God says about who we are.
Again, teenage girls aren’t the only ones who are relativists like Eve! All of us think like this from time to time and we all need this helpful reminder to trust God’s Word and his gospel more than our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015