Who Am I? What is my identity? Why am I here? An existential question I think mankind has always asked itself. A struggle we all face at various times, as our life situations change (going from high school to college or working world, becoming a parent, losing a close loved one, etc…) For some, the struggle is acute; tortuous, even.
There are many ways in our society by which we are identified: our names, of course, gender, Social Security number, our career/job, our station in life. Some identify themselves as a husband, wife, mother, or father. You get the idea.
Since technology has opened the entire world to us, we now even have to take precautions to protect ourselves against those who would steal our identities. It is a real fear for some, and a harsh reality to others. Who would have very thought such a thing? Geez, louise, It’s all so exhausting!
I have found that identity without God is such a burden! At its root, identity is really no more than others’ perception of a person—how do others see me? Always concerned that we won’t measure up, we try to conform to the opinions of others, rather than allow ourselves to develop and grow into the fullness of our potential. It’s an oppressive yoke.
As a Christian woman, I find that my identity lies squarely with who I am in Christ. I could list every Scripture in the Bible about who God says we are, and it will greatly bless you—the Word of God speaks to us deep in our spirit. But rather than that, let me share a personal experience.
I remember one time while praying, the Scripture verse Isa. 43:1 came to me: “…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” I thought how nice and comforting it is, to know I am His. Then I thought again, and just saw a picture of God sitting there looking at me, saying “and why would you settle for that?” whoa. What?!?
It was one of those “aha” moments, realizing that Christianity means one is in a relationship. And relationships take effort. Yes, it is comforting and awesome to now that I am His, but what about Him? Why would I settle for half of a relationship, and why would I ever want God to settle for half of a relationship with me? Do also respond to that verse with “And You are mine”?
He has already invested all of Himself into a relationship with me, but do I always invest all of myself back into that relationship? I’m working on it! Oh, yes, there are many times that I just need to know that He is there and He’s got the day, and I don’t put much into it myself. Thankfully, He is there, He is listening (even when I’m acting like a brat), and He loves me unconditionally.
I have found that my identity in Christ is empowering. I don’t need to worry about how others’ see me, but I can ask God “How do You see me”, and grow into that. God sees me as His child, His joint heir, His beloved. How could I not want to develop that?? There is great freedom in this identity.
C.S. Lewis says: “God doesn’t want something from us. He simply wants us”. The key to our identity in Christ is developing our relationship with Him.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is the Song of Solomon. In chapter 2, it says “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine”. How simple is that?