As we grow and mature, we go through struggles to establish our identity. Who are we going to be? What will we hold important?
As a nation, we are going through an identity crisis. People are searching for acceptance and belonging. I am freshly reminded of this each June as we are surrounded with calls to celebrate “Pride” month. Our culture calls for us to celebrate and affirm any and all identities. We see people trying to define and identify themselves apart from God. Seeking identity and fulfillment apart from God and His design will always lead to heartache and confusion. I am reminded of a quote from C.S. Lewis, “What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’ — could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside of God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history...the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
God created us in His image, He created us to be truly satisfied in Him and Him alone. When we seek to find our identity and worth in anything other than Him, we will ultimately be disappointed. Dealing with the issue of identity can seem overwhelming. At times what we need to do is focus on the clear truth of God’s word. Paul wrote this to the church in Colossae:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Look at how Paul describes our identity as believers in these verses: We have died, we have been raised, Christ is our life.
We have died: Those who have placed their faith in Christ have died to the world. Our old sin nature has died. The certificate of debt has been nailed to the cross (Col 2:14). Sin no longer has controlling power over us. We no longer have to set our minds on the things of this earth.
We have been raised: Not only have we died to sin, we are now raised to new life! As new creatures in Christ, we now seek Him above all else. We have a new mission and identity. Our focus should be on Him, setting our minds on the things that are eternally important.
Christ is our life: We are often tempted to make our lives about ourselves. This is our natural inclination. When we do this, we seek to define ourselves by what we have accomplished, what we have achieved, what we have accumulated or who we associate with. But this is contrary to how we should live in Christ. He is our life and our identity.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all that is taking place in our culture. Take time to reflect on who we are in Christ. Rest in the truth that our identity is found only in Him.