Identity: Who are you?

Identity: Who are you?

I think we’ve forgotten who we are.

Or maybe I should say: We’ve forgotten who we were made to be.

Identity is a hot-button topic in today’s culture. The voices of multitudes are crying out, shouting to anyone who will listen. They want validation. They scream for it on social media sites, through angry words on blogs, and on television or news outlets. The words are heated, biting, and sometimes even caustic in nature because they want their rights and they want them now.

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Flickry by Thang Le | Photography

Yet…we’ve all felt that way (maybe you’re feeling that way right now?). We want to be built up and agreed with. We like the idea of someone complimenting us, siding with us, or validating things that we care about. Even down to the most independent person, there is something inside of us that screams to be known. That demands our lives mean more than what they do at this point.

I believe most issues that our culture deals with today can be boiled down to a central theme: identity.

As humans created by God in His image, we were made to have identity. We crave it.

The problem comes when we settle for finding our identity in anything less than God himself.

Nothing else will satisfy our deeply rooted desire to belong. We weren’t made to be fulfilled by a job, money, sex, drugs, relationships, or getting our own way. We were meant for a life found in Christ and filled by the Spirit, called out of a place of darkness to find belonging and satisfaction in Him.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
– 1 Peter 2:9

In addition to this, we find freedom in Him. He breaks the bonds that this life entraps us with. The desperation to find acceptance. The reality that we are not perfect. The lack of control we have over our own lives. The hurt and pain our sin brings us. Through Him, we are given freedom from slavery to these things and a new purpose is bestowed upon us.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
– Galatians 5:1

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Flickr by girl/afraid

And yet we find ourselves romanced by this world. Reaching out, trying to tack on what we think will make us who we should be–what will make us happy. We ask: Is it beauty? Health? Clothes? Makeup? Attitude? Humor? Relationships? Acceptance?

We’re looking in the wrong places. Setting ourselves up against the wrong standards. We have lost the reality of what was best for us, because we’ve allowed the world to dictate what truth is, what freedom is supposed to look like, and what rights we should demand to have. It’s based on the individual and it’s self-seeking.

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
– Genesis 1:27

We are meant to live united with Christ (Eph 1:5). Your identity can only be found in Him (Col 2:9-10). You have been called to partake in the beauty of true life (2 Peter 1:3-11). You are a part of something greater (1 Cor. 12:27).

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
– Colossians 3:1-3

So what does this mean? It means who we are isn’t dependent on what we feel. It isn’t dependent on what makes us happy. It isn’t dependent on what we look like. It isn’t dependent on any external thing. It’s rooted in Christ and the new life He freely gives to those who ask. We are alive in Him and made whole in Him. Our brokenness is mended in Him. Our hearts are restored in Him. Though our own selfish desires will try to pull us from this, His truth remains supreme. It alone can satisfy a hungry soul seeking to belong.

When you are tempted and enticed by the world to seek satisfaction in anything other than God, remind yourself of the fact that there is no true life apart from Him. (For further reading on this see: Colossians 2:6-15, John 15:1-12, Psalm 16:2, Philippians 1:18-30)

Take a Moment

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Flickr by r. nial bradshaw

Stop and ask yourself this question: Who am I?

Don’t allow other peoples views of you into this moment. Don’t listen to the lies that can slip in unnoticed. Don’t let “them” tell you who you are or who you should be. Instead, ask God to show you who He has made you to be. Let Him tear apart the lies that bind up your heart.

Now, ask God: Who do you want me to be?

What needs to change? What ways have you allowed the world to shape and distort you? Where does your identity not match up to God’s identity for you?

Finally, ask Him: Will You help me?

Ask the Lord to step in and reshape you. Allow His gentle touch to remodel your broken parts and replace them with His beautiful truth. Read His word. Saturate your dry heart with His healing words.

Be refreshed and renewed in His identity for you.

 

 

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Emilie Hendryx About Emilie Hendryx

Emilie is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer living in Dayton, Ohio. She’s a member of ACFW and writes romantic suspense and YA Sci-Fi. In her spare time, you can find her designing fun bookish items for her Etsy and Society6 shops all while drinking too much coffee.
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Comments

  1. Thanks, Emilie. They say there is the person we think we are, the one others think we are, & then the 1 we really are. Only God can show us that person, & we find out only by seeking Him. I love your reminders & suggestions. I also love, like you said at the end, He will help you be who He wants you to be.

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  2. Wonderful reminders, Emilie. I feel like I’ve tried to be different things to people for a long time, but in the last few years I finally understood who God wanted me to be, and it has made all the difference. Every single thing in my life has more meaning (writing, creative pursuits, my relationships) because I can see my identity through Him now. Took me a long time.

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  3. Thanks so much Janet! I know that it helps me to remember that He is the basis for our identity! Without that solid foundation, what would we have? 🙂

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  4. Oh yes, I totally get that Cherie! I know going into College I had a realization that I didn’t want to pretend to be anything other than who I was. I asked God to help me be genuine in all circumstances. It’s easy sometimes to get caught up with your surroundings, but He says to follow Him and not to differentiate between where or when that is. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

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