Identity Crisis

When I was a child I remember being asked by my parents… “Taleen…what do you want to be when you grow up?” And I remember saying “I want to be a doctor!”

At the time, I am not quite sure that I knew much about being a doctor or the amount of schooling it required, but one thing I do remember thinking was… “Doctor’s make great money and it sure seems to be a pretty prestigious occupation! So doctor it is!”

Some of you may recall your childhood answers such as an actress…a lawyer….a singer…or a nurse.

Well, now that you are all grown up, what if I were to ask you… “Who are you?” How would you respond?

You may answer I am a stay-at-home mom…or a teacher…or a doctor…or an accountant…or a designer…and the list can go on.

But what if I were to ask you “Who are you?” and add that your answer cannot include what you do. How would answer then?

This challenge was posed to me while reading an awesome book on Christian leadership called “Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence” by Jenni Catron.

We have been taught to define ourselves by what we do rather than who we are. Jenni Catron

Isn’t that so true!

I found this so eye-opening because we can see that at a very young age, we have learned to define who we are by what we do…our occupations…our roles…our responsibilities. And this has carried into our definition of who we are into our adulthood.

Why? Because we quickly learn as a child that we receive praise for this role that we are expected to live up to. “Wow Taleen…a doctor! That’s wonderful!”

And this is further encouraged when so often we received praise as a child for what we did…not necessarily for who we are.

My 5 year old son recently recited Psalm 23…word for word…all by himself and he received great praise for doing so. Of course he should! Why shouldn’t he? That is a great accomplishment right?

Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with praising our children or even receiving praise as an adult…praise is certainly important! But consider the confusion this creates when it comes to defining who we really are and where our identity lies.

Our identity is…what defines us…what gives us our value…what gives us our self-worth.

And even as Christians we can experience this confusion…what we may call an “identity crisis.”

The term “identity crisis” is defined as “a feeling of unhappiness and confusion caused by not being sure about what type of person you really are or what the true purpose of your life is.”

Where do you find your identity? Is it in what you do…what you have accomplished…who the world thinks we are…who we believe we are?

When we learn to define ourselves by our roles, titles, responsibilities, accomplishments, mistakes and failures…when we allow our identity to be defined by everything and anything other than the very God who created us…we will have an identity crisis.

Your identity is in this constant state of chaos and change and influenced sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. What this leads to is a very inconsistent emotional and spiritual life. These are the things that may explain you, but they do not define you. Mark Driscoll

I love that he says that these things explain us…not define us!

Allowing our identity to be in anything other than Christ will leave us disappointed. Because everything in this world is subject to change…and only Christ and who He says we are is unchanging.

So who exactly does Christ say we are?

Well, for starters, we were bought at a price! (1 Corinthians 6:20)

What price? At the price of the blood of Christ being shed…At the price of Jesus dying on the cross for us! God sacrificed the life of his very own son for us…if that doesn’t make you feel valuable I am not sure what will!

Psalm 139:14 also states that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

The context of the word “fearfully” here refers to the respect and reverence God has for us when He created us! This also demonstrates the value we have in God’s eyes!

Check out these scriptures to really grasp who God says we are!

We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. 1Peter 2:9

He chose us in Him before the creation of the world…Ephesians 1:4

He predestined us to be adopted as his [daughters] through Jesus Christ…

He gave the right to become children of God… John 1:12

We should be called children of God…1 John 3:1

You are all [daughters] of God through faith in Christ Jesus… Galatians 3:26

You are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household…Ephesians 2:19

Our citizenship is in heaven…Philippians 3:20

He set His seal of ownership on us…2 Corinthians 1:22

We are God’s workmanship… Ephesians 2:10

God made you alive with Christ… Colossians 2:13

God has made also an heir… Galatians 4:7

I have called you friends… John 15:15

If anyone is in Christ, [she] is a new creation…2 Corinthians 5:17

We are therefore Christ’s ambassador’s… 2 Corinthians 5:20

[God] seated us with Him in the heavenly realms… Ephesians 2:6

Doesn’t that just blow your mind?!! To be chosen…to be God’s daughter…to be considered royalty…to be an heir…to be seated with Him in heaven…just to name a few!

And not only can we can see who we are…but whose we are! Who it is that we belong to! (To truly understand whose we are and who God is…refer to previously posted blogs called “I Am” and “Seek His Face…Not Just His Hand.”)

Our identity can get entangled in our jobs, performance, talents, accomplishments, relationships, experiences, mistakes, failures, our own views, and our perceptions of what others expect or think of us.

As I reflect on who God says I am…I realize that I am not defined as a women’s pastor…or a wife of a professional baseball coach…or a mother of 2 boys.

I am chosen…I am royalty…I am a princess in God’s Kingdom…I am the daughter of the Most High God…I am valued…I am cherished…I have purpose…I am destined for greatness!

No matter what I think…or the world thinks!

The next time you begin to have an identity crisis…the next time you begin to doubt in yourself…the next time you don’t feel valued or worthy…remember Who Christ says you are and remind yourself Whose you are!

Remember who defines you and where your value comes from and begin to praise God Your Creator! …Because thank goodness we aren’t defined by our jobs…relationships…our mistakes…our shortcomings…who we think we are or should be…and most definitely not who others expect or think we are!

That’s a  load off your shoulders…isn’t it?!

Reflection Points:

  1. Who are you really?
  2. Where do you find your identity? Is it in what you do…what you have accomplished…who the world thinks we are…who we believe we are?
  3. Is your identity in Christ?
  4. Who does Christ say you are?

Action Points:

  1. As Christians, it is important that our identity is in Christ. If we put our value and self-worth in anything other than Christ we will be disappointed.
  2. We can easily put our identity in other things but by understanding and studying what God says about us, we can accept who we are in Christ and whose we are.
  3. Always remind yourself that you were bought with a price and the next time you don’t feel valued or worthy review the scriptures listed to gain a better understanding of who you are…and whose you are! And always praise Him!


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