That in the Christian’s task of becoming more like Jesus – ‘putting on Christ’ to use St Paul’s terminology – we don’t lose our individual identity, rather we discover it.
Christ in His divinity is infinite; therefore His character, His personality, is also infinite.
Which means that each Christian will find that putting on Christ doesn’t turn them into some kind of a religious clone, but rather it frees them up to express the crushed, twisted, inchoate reality of their true identity, that as yet has never found its full expression.
This is the wonder of being a Christian – we get to become what we truly are.
All that is glorious in us, but which has hitherto been strangled, suppressed, overwhelmed by our sins and weakness, all of that can now dawn in us.
We know we are not yet perfect.
We know this is an ongoing process that requires our active participation with the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
We know there will be reversals and failures along the way.
I am not who I should be – but Jesus and I are working on it.
As usual C.S. Lewis has got there before us and nicely expressed the whole game.
“He (Christ) invented – as an author invents characters in a novel – all the different men that you and I were intended to be.
In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him.
It is no good trying to ‘be myself’ without Him.
The more I resist Him and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires.
In fact what I proudly call ‘Myself’ becomes merely the meeting place for trains of events which I never started and which I cannot stop.
What I call ‘My wishes’ become merely the desires thrown up by my physical organism or pumped into me by other men’s thoughts or even suggested to me by devils … Most of what I call ‘Me’ can be very easily explained.
It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own … There are no real personalities anywhere else.
Until you have given yourself up to Him you will not have a real self.
Sameness is to be found most among the most ‘natural’ men, not amongst those who surrender to Christ.
How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.”
C.S. Lewis ‘Mere Christianity’, Book IV, Chapter 11