Struggle for Identity
We were watching "American Idol" last night when our son Kameron asked out of nowhere if he could ask Jesus to forgive his sins. My wife, Amber, and I took Kam into another room and talked through why he wanted to make that decision and to make sure he understood what it meant.
Amber and I are elated over his decision to follow Jesus and ask for forgiveness of his sins! I’ve been thinking since that night about Kam’s decision and what it will mean for his life. I was a year younger than Kam when I first prayed for salvation. Unfortunately, I prayed for salvation based on a fear of hell and wanting to be like everyone else. It wasn’t a decision of faith and repentance.
That false salvation for me led to a life of uncertain identity. My identity throughout out life had been wrapped in sports, jobs, relationships or ministry success. If things were good, I would feel good about myself. If things were bad, I felt bad about myself. Whether good or bad, I would make choices based on how I felt about myself rather than who I am in Christ.
Most people walk through life like I did, putting their identity in material possessions, success, and/or relationships. The struggle is that those things always fail us. At some point the new car gets old, the job doesn’t satisfy or the other person lets us down. When that happens our identity is crushed and we’re left to figure things out again.
This struggle for identity is a battle for Christians and non-christians. Why? Because we put our identity into created things rather than the Creator. You see, Jesus didn’t come to make us a better version of our previous self. He came to make us new!
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” Knowing who we are in Christ changes how we view our lives and see the world around us. It gives us the ability and confidence to face whatever challenges come our way because our identity has already been confirmed in Jesus.
My friend Jeremy Brummel wrote a blog listing 36 ways to describe your identity in Jesus. Check it out and take time to soak up the verses to know who you are in Jesus.
One of the things I do when reading my Bible is to underline whenever the Bible talks about who I am in Jesus. Look for the phrases such as “in Christ,” “in Him” or “with Him.” This simple practice reminds me of who I am and increases my worship as I recognize all that Christ has done. I encourage you to try this for yourself. A great place to start is by reading through Ephesians, Galatians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Corinthians. There are a lot of great verses confirming your identity in those letters.
Remember there will be good days and bad days in this life but your identity is confirmed in Jesus!