Do you see the very clear problem in my feelings in the first paragraph? “Me, me, me!” I become so wrapped up in myself, who I am, and how I can impress someone with what I identify myself with. It would have been a far better use of my time to hear the Lord and what He says about me. Identity is defined as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I am in Christ, and therefore should be looking at Christ as the source of my identity—for who He wants me to be in Him. What sets me apart and distinguishes me from the world is simply Jesus.
Sometimes the world gets so wrapped up in labels and categories. I remember the quad in my high school during lunch period. Everyone sat with their group: the athletes clung together discussing game scores and new plays; the band kids sat together in the music room; the theatre group (admittedly, I was one of them!) would gather together telling jokes and quoting movies. There wasn’t much wiggle room for those that didn’t solely identify with just one thing. You made your decision, typically at the beginning of your high school “career”—and that’s where you usually stayed. Whether or not you were an athlete and a musician, and even sometimes a dancer—you were usually seen as one. And let’s be honest, some labels were more desirable than others. I know for me that age really began the temptation to impress others with who I was, and what separated me from the rest.
As most teens grow into adults, labels take a backseat to the internal struggle of finding yourself. Where do I place my identity? If it’s in my career, I will forever be climbing the totem pole of “corporate success”—but then what happens when it’s time to retire? If I’m a mother and raise my children til they’re grown—well, then who am I once they leave? If I place who I am in what I see in the mirror everyday, eventually the wrinkles and grey hair will change that picture too. Everything in this world can try and place my identity in will eventually change or go away. If where I place my identity disappears, what happens to who I am?
You see, the only safe place to stow (and keep!) our identity is in Christ Himself. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Christ is the same “yesterday, today, and forever.” We should always remember that our Savior is an ever-loving, never-changing God. He knows us better than we know ourselves. It’s Christ alone that defines our identity and distinguishes us from the rest of the world.
So, who are we as new creations in Christ? We are beloved, treasured, and most desired by God Himself. We are on this earth for a number of days to know God, love and worship Him, and to make Him known to others. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)—we still sin and fall short, but in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s refining work, He redeems us. He loved us even in our darkness—and through the veil of crimson blood, we were able to walk into the light. Next time someone asks “what do you do?”, remember who you are in Christ instead. And use every opportunity to share your true identity with others. I am more than a wife, photographer, or babysitter: I am the child of God, in Whose perfect identity I can rest secure for all of eternity—and that is far, far better.