Identity: Where do you find yours?

Where do you find your identity? That is a great question to ask yourself. If you are like most Americans you probably find your identity in your career, your family, your success, or your possessions, just to name a few things. But these things will fail you.

In Surprised by Oxford, a past professor offers up this crucial advice concerning identity to Carolyn:

What is important is that my identity doesn’t lie primarily in being a professor, or being a wife, or even in being a mother. Those things will always fall short. Entire careers get swept away at a moment’s notice at the presentation of a pink slip, a vote of the elders, an accusation of a student, a cut in the budget. Marriages face infidelities, for instance, and end up like car wrecks from which people can recover but are never again the same. Children grow up and move far away and forget to write or call – as they should.” She smiled wistfully.

The point is, if you have your identity in any of these things, it’s surefire disappointment. Anything man-made – or woman-made, for that matter – will and does fail you. Having my identity in Christ first and foremost gives me the courage – yes, the courage – to live my life boldly, purposefully, in everything I do, no matter what that is.”

I believe her professor is right. Jesus Christ is the only One who will never fail us. Everything else this world has to offer will, but Jesus will be there forever. So why find your identity in anything else?

Questions for Reflection

  • Where do you find your identity?
  • Do you realize that everything else will ultimately fail you? Agree or disagree?
  • Are you willing to commit to finding your identity in Jesus instead of in the world?

Recommended Reading

Resources

Everybody’s Somebody

This last week, while I was on spring break, my wife and I went to Fredericksburg, TX. While we were there, we took a trip over to Luckenbauch. My wife had visited in college and she always wears a shirt from there, so I wanted to go. The town slogan, which appears on her t-shirt  is “Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach.” And in Luckenbach that is true. The population is around 3. There are a few houses that dot a small country road, a dance hall, which is what they are famous for, post office, which is actually a store with a bar in the back, and a food stand. Here, truly, everybody is somebody.

But jump to where we live, Dallas-Fort Worth, population over 5 million. Movies stars, models, Fortune 500 CEO’s, millionaires, and even billionaires live in the DFW Metroplex. In the world’s eyes, everybody in Dallas Fort Worth is not somebody.

However, in God’s eyes, everybody in DFW and the world is somebody because we all are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). We all are valuable, even if the world says otherwise.

What does this mean for us?

It means that we must see everyone as important. Everyone deserves our attention and our time, even the person everyone can’t stand.

How do we accomplish this?

Lets face it. We don’t naturally see everyone as important. We don’t naturally think everyone deserves our attention and time, especially those who are hard to get along with. So what do we do? How do we get past this?

We must preach the Gospel to ourselves. God thought we were important. So important that He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. We were not clean when Jesus came to die for us. We were smelly, rotten, sinners, who wanted nothing more than to exalt ourselves over God.

When we think about the magnitude of what Jesus Christ did for us, it should give us reason to treat others as equals because we all equally need Christ to cleanse us of our sins.

But we also must remember that only as Christians, are we able to actually treat others as equals because our heart has been changed by the power of the Gospel. No amount of personal will power or external forces will change our attitudes toward others, only a changed heart will do. A changed heart that only comes through faith in the Gospel.