Why Do We Adopt an Identity?
Within us there is the craving for acceptance and significance and wholeness. It is the remnant of the broken image of God resonating inside of us.
Apart from Christ, we attempt to create our own covering for this brokenness. This covering, our identity, what we show the world, is our way to create the wholeness, significance, and acceptance that is our desire.
Value is created for us by comparison. Identity is created by answering the questions What do I do?, What do I have?, and What do people think of me? Now there is a framework to measure ourselves in relation to others.
Whether it is the type of car, shape of my body, parenting style, political party, nationality, race, neighborhood, or whatever – identity creates a hierarchy and hence value for my false self.
Just like Adam and Eve, we fall prey to the lie that something more than God is necessary for what we crave. Because we must constantly satisfy our identity, it leads to idolatry. Sin. Separation from God. It can’t be helped. You can’t serve two masters.
Unfortunately, when we become Christ followers, instead of an identity in Christ – we adopt an identity of religiosity. Doing the things that look Christian. Works and self-effort.
In that case, Christ is used to answer the questions of identity.
Yet, Christ makes those questions moot.
What do I do? God is not impressed by performance. He doesn’t need us, He loves us. Our righteousness is declared, not earned. You are free to do the works of service He has prepared for you in advance.
What do I have? Everything, in Christ. He is the blessing.
What do people think of me? This one is tough. People may hate us in Christ. But, they hated Jesus. If we hold on to the truth that we are chosen, accepted, comforted, seen, and understood, then we are not held captive by the opinions and value judgements of others.
In Christ there is no comparison. Neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male nor female. Our identity, sense of self, our wholeness, is found in Christ.
Which of the questions of identity are you susceptible to believing the lie over the truth in Christ?