Identity is what our culture is viciously fighting to own the right to. The culture is trying so very desperately to give us each labels, tell us what we are to wear, how we are to talk, even what we are supposed to eat; and it has a very good reason to. If the culture around us can have control of our identity, then it can have control of every inch of us. But really, why is identity such a big deal? Why does it matter what we place our identity in and what gives it such an authority over us?
Identity is more than just an overused word thrown around in our youth groups. More than what people think about us, and more than what we think about ourselves. Our identity gives us motivation in life, endurance to overcome trials, satisfaction in our choices, and peace at the end of the day. We strive to maintain our identity and focus on upholding the image that we have dedicated so much time to obtain. Our identity gives us passion in life and joy from day to day. Our identity gives us an automatic label; and we aren’t ashamed of it. Our identity defines our purpose in life.
However, there are two things that the culture throws at us that obscures our view of our real identity. These two things are lack of identity and false identity.
Lack of Identity
Lack of identity is believing that we don’t have anything to live for; we have no passion, no goal, and no motivation to live. We believe that our identity is “nothing”. We call ourselves names, inflict pain on ourselves and dread every coming sunrise. But the biggest thing about a lack of identity is that it is a lie.
We ALL have an identity, and it is that we were made as sons and daughters of the living Creator! So precious and valuable is our identity that God calls us His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16); and a temple is more than just a historical building, it is a sacred, beautiful place where His presence dwells. Lack of identity is a lie.
False identity ropes us in quickly. We get an opportunity and go into it as “just a hobby” at first, but then after all of the dedication of time, the money we spent into it, the research, and the knowledge; we begin to define ourselves as what started out as a “trial run”.
I’m a perfect example of this, when I started writing for the first time, I never decided that I was going to be a writer. It wasn’t until after all the time I had dedicated into the stories, essays, and articles I wrote, the money I had spent on curriculum and laptops, and the hours upon hours of research, when I began labeling myself as a “writer”.
I quickly became consumed with maintaining that title, thinking that I wasn’t living up to my title if I wasn’t constantly writing. Eventually, I would avoid writing whenever possible and I was miserable whenever I would sit down to write because I had put so much pressure on doing it all “right” that I no longer found joy in what began as a hobby. I had misplaced my identity and made writing the pillar that held me up, rather than letting Jesus hold me up and writing just being a gift.
False identity, too, is a lie.
Jesus wants us to do stuff with our lives; that’s why He gave us each unique gifts and talents. He just wants them to remain as gifts and talents. Jesus wants to be our rock. He wants to be the one who holds us up, and really, He’s the only one who can. The culture can never really take our identity away from us; it can only make us believe in lies. God gave us our identity when He created us in His image (Genesis 1:27).
Nothing can ever take that away.
Rayleigh Gray – Column: Tap into Your Potential
Rayleigh is a graduate from Home-School anxious to begin her exciting journey through life. Pursuing a career in Literary Agency and Editorial related jobs, she is an English buff always on the lookout for ways to point her writing back to her Creator. Join her on her journey by reading her blog (AccelerateTheJesusMovement) or following the books she reviews on her website (LiteratureApproved).