An Identity Crisis
Like many people who work from home, I find myself cozying up with my coffee and listening to music. One day, as I was jamming to Pandora, an advertisement popped up.
It stood out to me because it wasn’t one of those obnoxious jingles for a cleaning product. It was an ad for a podcast. What really struck me was the ad’s last sentence, which went something like this:
All are welcome here, no matter how you choose to identify.
In 2021, a statement like this is considered normal. But something about it bothered me. Pretty ironic for a girl who blogs about helping other women find their identity in Christ.
And then it hit me. The reason that sentenced bothered me so much is because it reminded me of some of the darkest points of my life. I chose an identity for myself, and it was one of darkness. I believed I could control who I was, and I listened to lies.
I called myself worthless, fat, unlovable, a failure. And I believed this because I felt this deep down in my core.
The Dark Side of Identity in Culture
Our culture is hyper-focused on identity, especially in the secular sense. We are told to choose our own identity based on how we feel at the moment. That is a major reason why gender and sexual identity is a hot topic right now.
Deep down, we all want to know who we are and where we truly belong. But I don’t think we understand the implications of stating that we can choose our identity.
If this is true, then who’s to say I was wrong for thinking I was worthless? After all, it was my truth. Who could challenge a depressed person who believes they have no purpose? After all, they truly feel this way.
We all know someone who’s had these thoughts. In fact, all of us have been there or will be at some point. And I think deep down we know it’s not right for someone to think these things about themselves. At least, we wouldn’t want a loved one to feel this way.
As a counter-act against this negativity, we now have the self-love movement. I jumped on this bandwagon for a couple of years, having to remind myself often of how beautiful and worthy I was, even though I didn’t always believe it. It was hard to find the solution from within myself when I knew my thinking was the problem.
But like all things this world has to offer, self-love won’t cure us. In fact, self is often our biggest enemy (Romans 7:18). But this begs the question, how do we find our identity? If it’s not in our fleeting feelings or another person’s opinion, then what determines it?
Some may say their career determines their identity. Or maybe it’s their relationship status, or motherhood. But all of these things can either hurt us, fail us, be destroyed, or are temporary. They are a part of us, but they can’t define us.
Rooted in Truth
If we want to understand who we truly are, we must turn to our creator. God made us, and only He can determine our worth and identity.
This is an amazing and comforting truth–one that changed my life. Now when I feel like I have no value or am a failure, I can turn to the steady truth of God’s Word. I don’t have to constantly search and self-discover. I can rest knowing I’ve already been found.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17 NIV)
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)
Trusting God and turning to the Bible for our identity is the best foundation for a life of peace and joy. If you are not familiar with what God says about you, check out some of these verses.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 NIV)
But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you,
Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1 NIV)
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14 NIV)
These are the truths and desires of the God who created you. And for those who choose to follow Jesus Christ, our identity is found in Him alone. We become a new creation that does not need to look for our identity anymore. Instead, we can focus our efforts in loving Jesus and others.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, 20 NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV)
Lovely one, if you want to know love, purpose, and truth like never before, here is your chance. Run to Jesus. Choose Him over everything. Over this world, sin, and even yourself. I promise you that life won’t be easy. But I also promise you that He is worthy.
And for my sister-in-Christ who is struggling to know her identity, I’m glad you’re here. I have been there, and I still need reminding every day. Let these truths wash over you and rest in God’s love.
I promise you, Jesus will always be worthy.
Thanks for reading! Have a prayer request or something to share? Please let me know in the comments below!
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This is so good! The ‘my truth’ movement has caused a lot of pain and confusion.
Thank you Owen! 😊 Yes, you’re certainly right. Truth is not truth anymore once it’s malleable to anyone’s thoughts or feelings. But the truth of God sets us free!