Carmel and I recently began watching Downton Abbey. It’s not my kind of show, yet I can’t help but love it. The characters are fascinatingly flawed, and the plot never tips over into melodrama.


Perhaps the main foil in the show is the ladies’ maid Miss O’Brian. O’Brian is bitter, resentful, and mean-spirited. She always works to harm others, sow mischief, and meddle in the affairs of everyone around her. However, toward the end of the first season, there’s a moment when O’Brian walks past a mirror and sees herself just as she’s in the middle of some particularly nasty business. Looking at herself square in the eyes, O’Brian softens and says “this isn’t you.” I won’t give anything of the plot away save to clarify that O’Brian’s transformation-work from wicked old bat to new creation is a long way from over, but I’d like to point out that small moment of personal victory. Because, for however brief a time, O’Brian came face to face with who she had become, and she didn’t like it.


Victory means winning back who you are, truly. It means reclaiming your God-given identity in Christ. It means recovering the best possible version of yourself and cooperating with the Spirit to be that version of you all the time.


In Christ, you have a better identity, a truer one. In Christ, you’re more than a conqueror. You’re a child of the king, and you’ve been imbued with dignity and worth from the moment you were born.


Why did Christ come down from heaven? To destroy sin, overcome death, and give life to man.


And what does that mean for us? Firstly, it means realizing we are no longer bound to our sin, our ill temper, or our misdeeds. The lie of this world is that you are powerless against your addictions, your genes, your ethnicity, your heritage, and your desires. The truth is that you are not a slave. THIS IS NOT WHO YOU ARE.


Don’t forget it.