It seems to me we are a people in crisis. We are in the midst of an epidemic identity crisis. People today spend a lot of time searching for their identity, trying to figure out who they are and how they fit in this crazy world. I think I know why. Identity theft has been increasing steadily for years now. No wonder we are all searching for our identities, they have been stolen right out from under us!
Identity theft is so common that protecting us from it is now big business. Whole industries, such as LifeLock, are dedicated to protecting our identities 24/7. Still the identity thieves are quite successful, judging by the number of people taking time to “find themselves” or to discover their authentic selves or to search for their roots. But I gotta question why anyone would want to steal my identity. Who in their right mind would want to be me? Do they know what my life is like? Obviously not or they would do their identity stealing somewhere else.
I don’t have position or power, or fame or fortune. But the cyber thieves must not know that because they keep on trying to steal my identity. I had an alarming email yesterday that wanted my personal information in order to help me out, correct the problem and save me from certain impending disaster. I almost fell for it. It sounded true, it looked legit, it seemed plausible – but something wasn’t right.
Why am I so easily fooled? Why is it easier for me to believe the lie than the truth? Who is trying to steal my identity and why?
Our identity is at the core of who we are and how we see ourselves. I think identity is so important to each of us because our identity determines our purpose – and without a purpose our life is meaningless. We each were created with an identity, we were created for a purpose. But when we lose our identity, when we forget who we are, who we are created to be – we lose our purpose. And loss of purpose proves to be both devastating and debilitating for those who experience it.
So we search. We do genealogies to find information to connect us to people we have not met and to places we have not been. We want to know where we came from so we can know where we belong and where we are headed. We search for identity in our work. Our work can define us and provide us with a purpose. If I am a teacher, my purpose is to teach. If I am a farmer, my purpose is to grow food. If a musician, to make music, if a builder of buildings, to build those buildings.
But something inside whispers to us that we are more than our job descriptions, that our purpose is larger than the confines of our work. So we find ourselves searching still. We look for our identity in the context of our relationships with others. We are someone’s spouse or someone’s mother or someone’s boss. But this isn’t the essence of who we are either. Jobs change. Relationships change. Does our identity change with every change in our circumstances? No wonder we are not sure who we are.
No wonder we are needing to find ourselves or to reinvent ourselves constantly. Having an identity crisis is exhausting! Who is to blame? The identity thieves, of course. And who is the biggest identity thief of all? I will tell you . . .
First, I have to understand that I have been created with my own unique God given identity.
“For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
My identity is in whose I am, I am a child of God – created by Him – created for His glory – created for His purposes.
“everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7)
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
I have a secure identity in my Heavenly Father as His child – He does not change like shifting shadows -my identity in Him does not change
Only if I believe the lies of the enemy of my soul, do I forget who I am in Christ and suffer an identity crisis
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Jesus warned His disciples saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Satan is the master when it comes to identity theft. He would steal my identity by deception; by getting me to doubt the truth of what God tells me in His word about me belonging to Him as His chosen child.
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)
My identity is secure in God, my Creator. Identity determines purpose. I may have many jobs and many different relationships, but they do not define me nor do they determine my purpose – my identity as a child of God does that . . .
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
sincerely, Grace Day