Christian, Do You Have an Identity Crisis?
“Identity!” Although our culture has suddenly become preoccupied with this issue, at some point the question, “Who am I?” crowds into all of our thoughts. Consider these examples:
- The injured athlete wondering if his life has meaning after sports
- The teen whose daily self-worth is measured by the approval of her friends
- The mom with “average” children in Carmel, Indiana
- The retired physician, no longer wearing the white coat, wondering, “Who am I now?”
- An aging woman struggling to accept what the mirror is telling her
How do you define yourself? Is it what you do or how others see you? If suddenly your abilities, status or appearance changed, how would you define yourself? Who am I—really—inside, where it matters? Does it all depend on the external? How does God see me? How does he see my family, my children? How does he want me to see myself?
An Identity Crisis
The world would say that our identity is found apart from our Creator, God—and that may be why we struggle with our identity and our self-worth. We, as the created, cannot and should not be separated from the Creator. You cannot remove tomatoes from tomato sauce, because the tomatoes are mixed into every aspect of the tomato sauce. The tomatoes make the tomato sauce what it is.
So too with believers; the Spirit of the Lord makes us who we are. “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15b). From the moment we are conceived, we all bear the image of God, our Creator.
So, as you can imagine, Satan takes great delight in trashing the image of God in us. What better way to stir up discontentment than to get us to focus on what we don’t have or what we wish we had. “You screwed-up, God. This is not the way it’s supposed to be. You have the script all wrong. Is this really who I am?”
But what has really happened here? Seemingly innocent questions of identity have planted seeds of doubt about not only who you are, but also who God is. Is he trustworthy? Is he loving? Is he really good?
Satan whispers in our ears, “Since God messed up with who you are—your looks, abilities, and talents—can you trust him with your allegiance? Certainly not. You need to go out, explore, and find out who you really are because obviously God got it wrong.” With those toxic thoughts festering, we tell ourselves, “I’m not satisfied with my life or my current identity so I’m going to find a new one that fits me better.” But what do we find? Satisfaction? Fulfillment? No. At best, we find temporary empathy, camaraderie, or an alluring numbness.
What Is Identity?
The truth though? Identity isn’t a costume that we can try on, take off, and exchange. It’s ingrained into our very cells; we are his.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13-16).
All of us—believers or not—have all been imprinted with God’s DNA. Until we accept who we are and who he is, there is no true satisfaction, because it cannot be found apart from him. As Christians we know we “have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20a).
What Is the Identity of a Christian?
Friends, look no further; your identity crisis is over. Christ lives within you. As you seek him and learn more about him, you will become more like him. And who you are will become clearer than ever.
- You are God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
- You are loved with an everlasting love.(Jer. 31:3)
- You are no longer a slave, you are free (Rom. 6:6-7)
- You are righteous (Rom. 3:22a)
- You are redeemed (Isa. 43:1b)
- You are his child (Gal. 4:7)
- He is your Creator (Isa. 40:28)
- He is your Sustainer (Ps. 54:4)
- He is your Protector (Ps. 18:2)
- He is your Justification (Rom. 4:25)
- He is your Liberator (Gal. 5:1)
- He is your Father (1 John 3:1)
You are who you are, because of who he is. Your identity is in Christ.