Today identity theft stalks us all and we fear falling victim to predators. This begs the question, “What is your identity and what does your identity mean to you?” Is it your name and social security number, or is there more to it? If your identity is about your personal attributes, which do you consider most important? What forms the basis of your self-perception? Finally, do you consider yourself and your identity to be normal?
Self-identification reveals the core aspects of your personality. For example, how do you introduce yourself to a new acquaintance? After you state your name, what do you say that defines who you are to your new acquaintance? Do you share your occupation – doctor, lawyer, parent, business owner, teacher, etc.? Do you reveal to whom you’re related – someone’s brother, Mom or Dad, son, or daughter? Would you disclose where you lived, went to school, or your country of origin?
Your self-perception impacts all areas of your life, including the way you introduce yourself. The image you have of yourself colors and controls every aspect and situation. We act consistently with how we perceive ourselves. This explains why some people approach life with confidence, whereas others are cautious and cynical. Some are adventurous whereas others are shy, and some are content while others are miserable.
If you consider yourself a Christian, you should be shaping your self-image based on Jesus Christ. However, most people, perhaps even most Christians, build their identity on false premises. Most of us build our identity by comparing it to the world system in which we live rather than the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We tend to measure and evaluate ourselves according to a totally erroneous set of standards adopted from a fallen, sinful world.
Many people connect their identity with what they do rather than who they are. They see themselves as their occupation – nurse, waiter, etc. Many people, especially men, suffer severe depression if they lose their job or must change careers. Their self-identity was so integrally connected with their career or occupation that they are absolutely devastated when they lose it and suffer a true identity crisis.
Others tie their identity to what they produce, which is just as dangerous. If our productivity goes down, then our identity is shattered and we fall into crisis mode. Consider the businessman whose revenue plummets due to uncontrollable market conditions. How should he be viewed? How about the Christian mom or dad whose child rebels and gets into trouble? Is that mom or dad a less valuable soul because they did not produce a perfect child? Or how about the pastor whose church declines instead of grows? Should he be considered a failure? Unfortunately, a lack of, decline in, or a faulty production is often viewed by the world as an identification of failure.
Many people have their identity wrapped up in their possessions. They are consumed with living in a certain kind or house or neighborhood, driving an expensive car, wearing designer clothing and expensive jewelry, eating in fancy restaurants, taking exotic vacations, even keeping company with the “right” people. Such people are in a bondage to the compulsion that appearing wealthy and successful is the most important aspect of their lives.
Whatever you consider your identity to be, Jesus Christ is willing to give you a new and perfect identity. You no longer have to live out an old, distorted, and debilitating identity. Scripture tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are now free to have a normal, Christ-centered identity. All you have to do is accept the gift from Him.
As a Christian, you no longer need to have an identity crisis. You no longer need to think about how to introduce yourself. You no longer need to worry about who you are if you lose your job or your relationships turn sour. Your identification is Christ becoming One with you so you might be One with Him. How much better can it get? You are a child of God and a servant of Jesus Christ.
Be warned, however. Even in your new identity, someone is out to steal it. Satan is a thief and a predator, who prowls like roaring lion looking to devour your identity in Christ (1 Peter 5:8). His mission is to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). He is the original identity thief. First he tried to steal God’s identity. He then corrupted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, stealing their identity. Before his deception, they were sinless children of a Holy God; afterwards, they were sinners in need of a Savior.
Satan craves to steal your identity in Christ, thereby depriving you of Christ’s peace and returning you to the bondage and slavery of sin. Stand firm against Satan. Through Jesus Christ, you can begin to view your identity as normal and non-negotiable You can begin to see yourself as God sees you. You can stop believing what Satan and the world says about you (Revelation 12:10) and start identifying with what God has to say about you (Hint: He loves you – John 3:16). Through Him, you can know the Truth about yourself, and then rehearse it to totally reshape your entire self-image. And if you are truly in Christ, Satan cannot steal you from the Father’s hand (John 10:29).
God’s gift to you through His Son enables you to eliminate your identity crisis forever and to avoid identity theft. Why not jump into your new identity today and show the world the child of God you really are?
“I’m Normal.™ I AM.”
It’s God Talking to You
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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