The Search For Identity

The Search For Identity

“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus” - Ephesians 2:10a (NLT)

Who do you think you are? I believe that all of us, if we're honest, have been on the search for identity. Take a moment to reflect on this. What do you see when you look at yourself or consider your own life? Do you see potential or do you see a hopeless project?

Particularly in our modern era - though I believe it has always been the case - there is an identity crisis. People are asking: 'Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of my existence?'. Many young people are growing up not knowing who they are, or who they are meant to be. Google it if you wish, and you'll be even more confused by the plethora of answers that illustrate humanity's identity crisis! Our modern generation doesn't understand who they are or who they are meant to be. Add to this the many conflicting voices telling us who we should be and who we should be like. Take the media for instance, whether it's advertisements, pop culture, or even religion - we are constantly being told how we ought to conform, how we ought to measure up. These are just some of the reasons for such great confusion about identity.

How do you see yourself? Perhaps you think God ought not to be happy with the material that is before Him, as if He doesn't have much to work with. Maybe you feel misshapen, weather-beaten by the elements of life - but here's the truth of God's revelation in the Bible: you are too expensive to dispose of. God values you! We're not overlooking our sin, we're not ignoring our own fallenness in the holy eyes of the God of heaven, but the fact of the matter is: God values you, even if you don't value yourself! What you may not see in your own person-hood, or for that matter what others may not recognise in you, God sees.

So let me ask you again: who do you think you are? How do you see yourself? I think it's true to say that most, if not all of us have an internal picture of ourselves that dominates every aspect of our lives. Whether it's our personalities, our capabilities, our aspirations and dreams - our self-image affects how we perceive ourselves, how we think others see us, how we begin to relate to others, and ultimately how others will relate to us. More than that, not only does our self-image affect our own well-being and how other people relate to us, but it affects how we view God - it shapes our understanding of the Almighty, how He sees us and what we think He feels about us.

So this is a hugely significant subject - whether you're a Christian or not. Your self-image can actually become a stronghold in your mind, a spiritual stronghold that incarcerates your being, blinds you from seeing the truth, and robs you of everything that God intends for your life.

Let me ask you this question: not just 'How do you see yourself?', but 'Where do you think your true identity lies?'. Where? Does it lie with yourself? Does it lie with your own self-image, your perception of who you are? Does it lie with your family, or your friends, your peers? Does your true identity lie with public opinion, what society says or thinks? Does it lie with popular culture, what is in vogue in our modern day? As Christians who believe the Bible, we've got to assert that we believe God Almighty is the only One who made us, who formed us, who sculpted us. We believe He created us in His image, and we believe He has ordained our destiny. This means He is the only One who has the right to tell us what our identity is - can you grasp that? To get the right results in your search for identity, you must go to God, who created your innermost being (Psalm 139) - there you will learn that “we are God's masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).

For more on this subject, see the message 'Who Am I?' - Finding True Identity or my book Breaking Through Barriers To Blessing which deals with the subject of identity and many other issues in much greater depth...