Identity. A basic yet crucial aspect of life. Billions of dollars are spent every year appealing to our identities ~ from paying therapists to figure out who we are to paying doctors to transform unappealing body parts.
Some of us live our entire lives in an identity crisis. We’re always striving to improve our image physically, emotionally, and intellectually, in power, in status and in wealth. We push, sweat, starve ourselves, and make major sacrifices attempting to attain an invisible, yet debilitating standard.
We all want to be somebody and we all want everyone else to know we’re somebody.
How does this desire flesh out with Christianity?
According to the world, identity is measured by what you have and what you do. A doctor is a doctor because he graduated with the appropriate degree, interned at the appropriate length, and is employed by an appropriate institution. A doctor may also be a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a friend in social circles.
The better he performs in each of his roles, the more secure he feels in his identity (or so he hopes).
A worldly sense of identity crumbles, however, because there will always be a better doctor, husband, father, and friend. Even if we put forth all our efforts into one role, there will always be someone better at it. There’ll always be someone prettier, thinner, more accomplished, smarter, and savvier than ourselves. When we realize that, we suffer an identity crisis.
Identity crises happen when we attempt to find our identities in our roles and accomplishments instead of in Jesus.
God did create us to fulfill certain roles. Adam had a job in Eden and a relational role as a husband before the fall. He even accomplished things! Fulfilling roles and succeeding in accomplishments is not sinful. Yet notice how neither his roles nor accomplishments made Adam who he was. Adam was Adam because of God and his relationship with Him.
When we seek to find our identity in roles and accomplishments we’re really putting those roles and accomplishments in front of Jesus in our hearts. We’re seeking the approval of others based on our relational functions and successes, instead of realizing we already have 100% approval by the only One who matters.
When God saves us we’re given a new identity ~ one that’s found in and secured by Jesus. We don’t lose our personalities, get magically brilliant, or become the Barbie and Ken version of ourselves; but we do become aligned with the One who identifies with the Father on our behalf.
Remember, Jesus is the One who bridges the Great Divide. He became sin on our behalf and redeemed us from our identity crises.
Only in Jesus do we 1) Realize why we’re here 2) Understand who we really are, and 3) Become the person God sees when He looks at us through Jesus. Jesus saves us from our identity crises by showing us what our true identity really is ~ sons and daughters of the King.
Rescue from an identity crisis occurs only when we realize who we are in Jesus. The more we come to terms with who He is and what He’s done for us, the more we discover our identities as His disciples. You see, it’s not really about who we are or what we’ve done. It’s about who Jesus is and what He’s done on our behalf.
ID yourself with Jesus first. Abide in Him and He’ll reveal your true identity. You won’t be disappointed!
About the author:
Mindi Jo Furby is a fresh voice in the fight against biblical illiteracy. Her heart pulses to the beat of hermeneutics, and she’s dedicated to drawing others into that rhythm. Equipped with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts in Religion, she’s helping people of all ages engage God and His Word in new and refreshing ways.