Recently, I have been reading Driscoll’s new book: Who Do You Think You Are? His book deals with identity. Specifically, where we should find our identity.
Reading his book over the past few days has me asking the question: Who do I think I am? I want to put that question to you as well: Who do you think you are? In other words, where do you find your identity? Do you find it in your possessions? Do you find it in your job? Do you find it in others? Or do you find it someone else?
When someone asks you who are you, what do you say? Do you respond by saying, I am a farmer, a business man, a missionary, a pastor, an addict, an alcoholic, an abused person, or an angry person?
It is common, we respond in these ways, but should we, or should we find our identity in something else? In order to answer this question, we must start at the beginning, the beginning of the Bible and time.
Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It starts with the creation account. After God created everything else, He creates man. In Genesis 1:26-27 God says,
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Notice God makes man in His image, which means we are God’s image bearer. No one else bears God’s image. Humans are the only ones’ created in the Image of God.
As God’s image bearers, we are created to reflect His goodness and character to the world for His glory. When we love others, we reflect God’s love to the world for His glory. When we forgive others, we reflect God’s forgiveness to the world for His glory. When we are merciful, we reflect god’s mercy to the world for His glory. And so on and so forth.
As we move on through Genesis, we come across the temptation of man in Genesis 3. The entire chapter focuses on the fall. For the sake of time, let’s just look at verses 1-7.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”
Satan told Adam and Eve they would “be like God.” Adam and Eve believed him and ate the fruit. When they did, they forgot they were already like God; they forgot they had been made in His image. Instead of recognizing they were already like God, they sought to create their own identity apart from God by eating the fruit God had forbidden.
Just like Adam and Eve faced an identity crisis – they forgot who they were – we wrestle with our identity as well. In fact, man has been wrestling with their identity ever since our first parents sought their identity outside of God in the garden.
Problem with Seeking Our Identity Outside of God
What is the problem with seeking our identity outside of God? When we seek our identity outside of God, we go from a God given identity to a Man sought identity. Instead of becoming like God, we become like our idol – the thing that represents God to us, but is not.
When we seek identity in something other than God – Job, Hobbies, Nationality, Cultural Tastes, Status – we deify that something. It becomes our god. It is what we live for and seek to glorify. Our identity then becomes rooted in our idolatry, a false god instead of the one true God.
This is a problem because we are not created to image our idols. We are created to image God for His glory. When we seek our identity in an idol, we take away from God’s glory. As well as we don’t accomplish our purpose in life – to glorify God.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you find your identity in God?
- Do you seek your identity in something other than God?
- When others ask you who you are, how do you respond? Do you say I am a Christian or something else?
Post adapted from: Who do you think you are? Ch. 1