Identity Crisis

Have you ever had your identity stolen?

Fortunately, I have not. I know some who have, though, and it is very devastating. Your whole life gets turned upside-down, there is a long process to come out of it, etc. Definitely not the most fun thing to do on a weekend.

But have you ever heard of someone giving their identity away?? I think we all do it more often than we admit.

Umm…What does this mean exactly? For people who believe in Jesus, their identity is in him. Their purpose for living, their satisfaction and reassurance of love, and the hope for the future. Those are just a few things that Christians find in Jesus — there is actually a really cool list of verses explaining what we are because of a relationship with God here. One verse I especially like reads as follows:

Colossians 2:10 – “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

When we think about what Jesus did on the cross, it’s clear where we want our lives to go. It’s clear that we want our lives to be defined and identified in the person of Jesus. But we often trade that identity away for another one, and usually it centers around what we do.

That workaholic, get-results-now drive. It feels nice to accomplish things as planned, no?

The clothes you wear.

Our bodies. Ever seen those guys who are obsessively working out at the gym every day (perhaps more time is spent there than at home)? It’s no surprise that a lot of them go home and stare in the mirror all day. While it’s apparent their identity is in their bodies, many of them wonder why they can’t get a nice, long-term girlfriend. Ahh, another post for another day…

The FaceBook comments on statuses and wall posts.

How many views on your blog or site. The Holy Spirit really smacked me with this one this past week.

The type of friends you have.

The list goes on, but what’s sad is that the endpoint in getting your identity stolen and giving it away is the same. It’s devastating, life feels broken, and each day is depressing. This is because all of the identities we try to put on are imperfect. They don’t last forever, unlike God. Do you remember most of the FaceBook comments you received on that one status that one week during that one time? I didn’t think so.

Jesus is perfect, though, and we are made in his image. He made us uniquely, because he himself is unique. Therefore, our identity in him should be unique and far more wonderful than anything else! No wonder we’re told that we’re not of this world like Jesus (John 17:16).

So when we give that away for an imperfect identity, it’s like putting on a sweater for a Maltese. It’s the wrong thing! It doesn’t fit, and it just doesn’t look good (no offense). But no matter how much we try to look like Malteses throughout our days, Jesus still works in us and shapes our lives. No matter how much we change our identities, he remains unchanging. Not unchanged, but actively unchanging. He is constantly staying faithful to his Word, which stands forever (1 Peter 1:24).

God is stable and full of love. Do you really want to base your life on something else? The best part is when we are ready to put away some of the false identities we cling to, we can rest easy in who God is and once again realize that we are part of his family (Romans 8:15, Ephesians 2:19).

Are you having an identity crisis? What’s been your identity lately? Have you ever had yours stolen??

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8 thoughts on “Identity Crisis

  1. Very true! It is easy to loose oneself in worldy matters. We have to check our alignment everyday to stay on course. Love ur posts!!!

  2. Love this man! Identity is my life message. I’ve gone too long trying to put my identity in what I do, labels I put on myself or my sin. None of that junk compares to what God says about me. I’ll take sonship any day over finding my identity in anything else.

  3. Pingback: Are You Simply ‘Born This Way’? « What Really Matters

  4. Identity is a big struggle for me as well, in case you couldn’t tell by my obscure unpronounceable username. There are a lot of different identities I would like to wear: designer, programmer, musician, artist to name a few. They are all centered around what I like to do and ultimately wish I were better at. The risk of taking on an identity is the fear of not being able to live up to the expectations associated with it. For me, my identity in Christ carries that same risk as well and it terrifies me. If I make my primary identity being a Christian, every unkind word I utter, every lie I tell, every outburst of anger not only demonstrates my failure to align myself with that identity, but also impacts everyone’s perception of that identity. One of my greatest fears is living my life in a way that hardens someone’s heart towards Christ.

    I suppose if that were actually true, my identity in Christ is the one I should focus on the most and work the hardest to perfect. It really doesn’t matter if people think I’m a poor web developer. If people find me to be a poor Christian, they may be more inclined to think Christ has nothing to offer them. That’s a lot of pressure!

    Thanks for the post! Gives me a lot to think about.

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