Identity. It shapes who we believe we are and how we choose to interact with the world around us.
Amidst our current mental health crisis, it is imperative that young people today are supported to discover their true identity. Furthermore, the popularity boom of self-help books, podcasts and TedTalks reflect society’s widespread yearning for discovering the source of secure identity.
Through a vicious cycle of hyper-examination, we seek to reveal our true selves by staring deeper and deeper into our internal mirror. We sing along with the secular chorus, chanting that our identity is found within ourselves.
However, the danger is, that we alone are empty vessels. The internal pursuit for identity is void unless we have an external reference frame from which to view ourselves. As Christians our reference frame is Christ.
Answering the Big Questions
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well' (Psalm 139, verse 13-14).
Who am I and what is my purpose?
Perhaps one of the greatest human struggles is our attempt to answer the above questions. Universally we each strive to understand who we are and what our purpose is.
Some may seek solace in relationships, occupation or personal achievements however, this is fleeting. When a transient basis for identity fails us, we vainly rummage to pick up the pieces to make ourselves whole.
The millennia saw the continued rise of individualism and the advent of the snowflake generation. Our secular society sells identity seekers psychological tests or new-age therapies designed to deepen the individuals’ awareness of themselves.
Although, psychological knowledge can function as guide to understanding ones-self, in isolation of Christ is it redundant in understanding true identity.
Our lives are a wonderfully messy tapestry of earthly disappointments, grace and God’s abundant love. Undervaluing our identity negates our inherent worth as children knitted together in our mother’s womb by the Creator of the Universe.
Answering the Ultimate Question
‘“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty”’ (Revelation chapter 1, verse 8).
The ultimate question – the answer to life, the universe and everything in between.
Who is God?
In Isaiah chapter 64, verse 8, it is written that we are the clay and God is the potter – we are all the work of His hand. This poetic metaphor depicts an artist lovingly moulding His beautiful masterpiece. We are the clay.
Additionally, Matthew chapter 10, verses 29-31, continues to echo God’s intimate love for His creation. If the Creator of the Universe cares for every individual sparrow, imagine how much more He cares for us – worth more than many sparrows.
The Biblical narrative shares the greatest love story ever written. Whereby, God sacrifices His only Son for the redemption of humanity. In its entirety, the Bible reveals the character of God. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Lamb and the great I am.
Therefore, with all things considered, it can be concluded our true source of identity may only be understood once we begin to understand the character of God.
Freedom in Identity
‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do' (Ephesians chapter 2, verse 10).
If people understood their true identity secured in Christ, it would radically change the world. Not only would individuals internally comprehend their value, they would also understand the inherent worth held within one another.
No longer would selfish indulgence and the pleasure of self be considered desirable. Instead, we would seek to love our God above all else and love others as ourselves.
Imagine the culture change if we, as Christians, strove to not only understand the source of our true identity but also the identity of one another.
Jessica is a Registered Nurse who is passionate about caring for children. She enjoys spending time in nature and reading a good book. Writing is her way of communicating with God, expressing creativity and processing ideas. You can view her previous articles at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jessica-knell.html
Kiwi-born with British roots, Jessica Gardiner drinks tea religiously while her dinner table discussions reverberate between the sovereignty of God, global politics, and the public health system. Having experienced churches from conservative to everything but, Jessica writes out a desire for Christian orthodoxy and biblical literacy in her generation. Jessica is married to fellow young writer Blake Gardiner.