When someone asks you “who are You?” How do you answer? On what do you base your true identity? Do you base it on something that will change or go away? On a profession or the type of work you do? Or, do you base it on what God has already done for you and who God says you are in His Word?
On What Do You Base Your True Identity?
At the beginning of a book called “Victory Over Darkness” by Neil Anderson, He asks the question “Who are you?” Like he says, it seems like a simple answer but it really isn’t. For example, if someone asked me, “who are you?” I might say “Patricia” and then:
“No, that’s your name”
“I’m a writer.”
“No. That’s your profession”
“I’m an American”
“No. That’s your nationality”
“I’m a woman”
“No. That’s your gender”
I could go on and on including my physical characteristics, color of my hair and a lot of other things. However, none of those things really get to the heart of who I am.
If we let our sense of identity and who we are be based on external things or things that can change, things we have to earn or do, then when those things come crashing down, what happens to our self-worth and who we are deep down? How is it affected?
I once performed a one-act play about Mary Magdalene on a Good Friday. In the play, Mary has just found out that Jesus had been crucified on the cross and was devastated. She asked herself the question “what happens to my salvation now that Jesus has died?” You see, she didn’t know that Jesus would soon rise from the dead. Now that Jesus was gone, she didn’t know who she was or what her future held.
Although, her salvation was indeed secure, she didn’t know it at the time. It is the same way when we base our identity on a job or profession, how we look, how much money we have or the like. Let’s say your a football player and get injured and can’t play anymore. Who are you then? Or, if you base your identity on how much money you have and something happens to take all of it away. Then what?
Knowing Who You Are and Whose You Are
Knowing who you are and whose you are is critical. It is the foundation for your whole life, your belief system and your relationship with God.
Even though I became a Christian at an early age, I never understood this. I based my identity and self-esteem on things like trying to be perfect and please other people, on how I looked and how heavy I was. When I couldn’t measure up to those false standards, it would destroy me and lead to outbursts of anger or deep depression.
In his book “Victory Over Darkness”, Neil Anderson asks the question:
“Is who you are determined by what you do or is what you do determined by who you are?”Victory Over Darkness by Neil Anderson
He further states:
“I believe that your hope for growth, meaning and fulfillment as a Christian is based on understanding who you are– specifically, your identity in Christ as a child of God. Your understanding of who God is and who you are in relationship to Him is the critical foundation for your belief system and your behavior patterns as a Christian.”Victory Over Darkness by Neil Anderson
When I finally realized that I didn’t have to earn love and approval from anyone in order to be happy and content with who I was, it changed my life. My true identity as a child of God is now based solely on the fact that God loves me so much that he took my place on the cross 2,000 years ago. He loved me even though I wasn’t perfect. I am not just a forgiven sinner, but I am his child. And, so are you.
Jesus is the foundation for understanding who are you and whose you are. Everything else comes after that. It is just the beginning of all that God has for you and me. There are moments when I still have my battles with self-worth and identity. However, those moments are always those when I take my eyes off of God put then back on myself.
You may want to check out my guided prayer journal Discover Your True Identity: A 52 Week Guided Prayer Journal which will help you understand who God created you to be.
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