Identity crisis. You’ve been there, got the T-shirt, bought the coffee mug. Why I am here? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Unfortunately, the first question that needs answering, “Who am I?” is the one most often skipped over, so that we identify ourselves by what we do rather than who we are. It’s easier for us to “do” than to “be,” and the doing without the knowing who we “be” is a formula for disappointment, maybe even self-destruction.
When was the last time you thought about who you are and then answered yourself like so: I’m a parent, I work at (fill in the blank), I am so-and-so’s cousin, I’m a coach, a minister, and so on? These responses and responses like them do not answer the question, “Who are you?” These speak to what you do, what positions you hold, how you spend your time, but who you are is a sense of being. When all the tasks, appointments, events, in your calendar are stripped away, what are you left with? You. So, who are you?
When the question poses an offensive connotation like “Who do you think you are, anyway?” I picture a person hitting resistance while trying to lead a group to make a decision. Although not formally “elected” as leader of the group, the person with pure motives tries helping the group reach a consensus, maybe in a jury. Then, the person who hasn’t said a peep during the discussions feels threatened by the leader’s attempts toward progress and blurts out, “Who do you think you are, anyway?”
Just like this example, the enemy of my soul tries to blurt out this question at critical times in my life. When I feel an urging to move forward with a project, crucial conversation, relationship, you name it, I hear a voice nagging from within, “Who do you think you are, anyway?” And this marks only the beginning of the conversation that leads me to wrestle with my own question, “Who am I, exactly?”
Callings in life can be axed at this question because we often fail to recognize who we are and are easily defeated by what we do. Let’s face it, we grow so accustomed to limiting ourselves by the roles by which we are accepted in society, that we miss divine appointments uniquely created for who we are.
In the Bible, God changed people’s names so they would recognize themselves by who they were called to be. Abram was changed to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon Barjona to Peter, and so on.
Today, Jesus offers us a new identity as well.
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. -2 Cor 5:17
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God; and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. -Rev 3:12
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that y should she forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. -1 Peter 2:9
When the Word declares we are chosen, royal, holy, set apart, a new creature, why then do we live ignored,inferior, dishonorable, undignified, corrupt, immoral, uncertain, common, defeated and subservient to the world? I believe it is because we forget who we are in Christ.
Choose to walk in the new identity God granted you at salvation. Refuse to take on the identity of this world. When your identity is found in Christ–who you are, not what you do–then your passion discovers the path it was meant to travel.