3 Wrong Places To Find Your Identity:
- What I do
“Why is my identity not associated with what I do?” You might ask. My question for you would then be “why would you want it to be?” If you think about it, is there anything that you are absolutely perfect at? Are the things you are apart of whether it is a sport, job, school, relationship, or activity allowing you to feel complete? Colossians 2:10 says that “in Christ you have been brought to fullness..” We will only be made complete through having a relationship with our creator. Sports end, a job can be lost, a relationship without God at the center will fall apart (if you find your identity in what you do or who you’re with God is NOT at the center!). We live in a broken world so placing your value in people will leave you broken as well. The problem with finding your identity in the activities in life you participate in is this: they are only temporary, God is eternal. How can something that has an end to it give you eternal value? Because once it falls apart that makes you meaningless. This is why GOD gives you your value, your purpose, and meaning. He lasts forever. He never had a beginning and he’ll never have an end.
There are many things I would say that I’m “good” at, but not one of them can I say I am perfect at. So if our identity lies in what we do we’re left with the feeling of being incapable. This would then become our identity. Another important thing to understand is that the term “good” is a matter of one’s opinion, which brings us to our second point.
- Who others say I am
The world is full of opinions and that of which changes literally every day. The way one should speak, act, and dress are all fads that come and go faster than most can keep up with. Not to mention the amount of money that people are willing to spend in order to maintain their social statice. Did you know that the average amount of money all teens combined spend annually is roughly $250 billion a year? That number grows yearly. All of this is to say that we are willing to go to the extreme just to “fit in” when our very purpose as Christians is to stand out. Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” If our identity were in the hands of people and what they say about us it would be changing everyday! This makes it completely impossible to have any long term peace in who we are created to be.
- Who I think I am
Having self-confidence is one of the most popular topics being taught today. That term is so contradictory to its own meaning. The last place we should find our confidence and value is in ourselves! The more you try to gain self-confidence the less confident you will actually end up being. Once you have a peace in your identity in Christ you will have a new found confidence. Not one that is holding yourself at a high place, but realizing just how high our God is. If you find your identity in what you do, how good you are at it, and what the world says about you, you then form a self-demeaning opinion of who you are. Because of the lack of stability and consistency in the worldly things you’ve placed your value in, you now are stuck with this feeling of being worthless, hopeless, and lose the desire to try anymore. Keeping up with the world’s opinions is exhausting physically, mentally, and most importantly it’s spiritually weakening. How can we expect to feel confident in the person God created us to be if he is not the one we are seeking the opinion of? What God knows about us is infinitely more important than what others and even ourselves think about us.
So how is our value given by God? Genesis 1:27 says that we are created in God’s image! We are his child made in his image to live for him, spreading the love of God by the way we live our lives. So why then would we want to reflect a false image that the world is presenting? We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) by a perfect God who created the entire universe. This same God created you, in his image, with a special purpose and unique identity because he knew his creation would not be complete without you.
Don’t spend all your energy, emotion, and spiritual well-being on searching for what only God can give! If we try to be made full by a broken world how much more empty and broken would it leave us? This reveals our desperate need of a divine creator who gives us our identity.
The Challenge: Don’t consume yourself with the worlds false reality. Not a single person has a picture perfect life. Instead allow yourself to be filled with the truth that God gives us in his word. The more you are filled by the world the more spiritually empty you will become. Your struggles in life, the hateful words others may say, and the low opinion of yourself does not define who you are. When you doubt your purpose you are telling God that he is a failure. You are choosing to let a world that is without Christ have a higher place in your mind and heart than God. This leads to feeling lost when God is giving you a path through his word. You may not always know where it is taking you, but with faith in God’s guidance you will find yourself right where you are meant to be. So today remember that those people who say those hurtful things are also hurting inside and have a need for Christ. At the same time be encouraged because they don’t have the power to take away the promises God has already placed over you and your life.