Personal identity is one of the most important things to understand about ourselves. Knowing who we are, what makes us tick, what makes us laugh, what gets on our nerves, what brings us true joy—those are essential things to name because that understanding affects everything else. Personal identity affects how we look at life, how we deal with conflicts, and even who we choose as friends.
If I were to ask you, "Who are you?" Would you respond with your name, age, grade, your style or hobbies, or maybe the state where you grew up? All these external things may be a part of you, but they aren’t permanent. They may be facts about who you are today, but ten years from now, many of your responses would probably be different.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have a secret identity that you may not be aware of. Can you see it? Do you know it? Or have you lost sight of who you really are? Have you forgotten who lives in your heart?
Your identity in Christ doesn't depend on your hair color, body type, or which lunch table you sit at. Have you allowed other people to define you? To tell you who you are and who you aren't? God has already defined you in His perfect Son, Jesus Christ!
But we forget that identity sometimes. It's so secret that we end up chasing after meaningless earthly possessions and sinful experiences to "find ourselves," to try to fit in, to try to be cool. To try and be someone we're not. Your true identity hides somewhere much more precious than things and experiences. And that identity is eternal.
If you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you're no longer a part of this world soaked in sin. Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. This life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." You're a new creation in Him; the old has passed and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
Why do we, who have been called out by our Heavenly Father, try so hard to fit in and get approval from a world we are no longer a part of? We will never get their complete approval because here's the hard truth: If you've decided to follow Jesus with all your heart, you're never going to completely "fit in."
But the world's approval doesn't matter. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you more than anyone on this earth ever could. And His love for you doesn't change. It never fails. And it's eternal.
That's worth giving up the fight to get a seat at the popular table, right?
I know many of us feel insecure at times in life. (I'm one of them!) But that's because we keep trying to find our worth and security in the wrong things. In Christ, we are firm and secure in Him (Hebrews 6:19). He's always with us, and we'll always have the stamp of approval from Him. We never have to try harder for Him to love us more. We never have to beg Him to stay. Because all those things are a part of His character. His unshakable love is who He is. And as Christians, we're a part of it too.
Once you become a new creation in Him, everything changes for the better. You're given a new name. Your whole identity changes because you've been rescued and redeemed from sin and darkness and welcomed into God's Kingdom family.
1 Peter 2:9 says, "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."
Do you know how special you are in God's eyes? If you don't, that's why you're still trying to fit in with the world. Here's what the Bible says about a YOU once you have a new identity in Christ:
Just think about that for a minute. Don't skim over it. Don't read them like they're the same words you heard in Sunday school. Read over that list and take it in. This is YOU. If you're in Christ, this is who YOU are. This is your permanent identity. It can never be removed, messed up, forsaken, taken away, or changed.
This your identity in Christ.
This is who you are at the lunch table where you sometimes sit by yourself.
This is who you are when you get a bad grade on a big test.
This is who you are when you didn't make the basketball team or get into your first choice college.
This is who you are when you've sinned so severely it doesn't seem forgivable, yet to God, it is.
Do you believe in your identity in Christ?
On good days, it might be easy to agree, but when the bottom comes out under you, do you still believe it? Embrace it? Or do doubts arise?
No matter how you feel today, or who you used to be, or what you're going through, your identity in your loving Father is who you are for all eternity. Because Jesus died and rose again for the forgiveness of your sins, when you received His sacrifice as gift to you, you instantly became His. This is who you are.
Not only is it important to understand your identity, but it's important to actually live life like you know who you are. When's the last time you've looked at yourself like you're God's special, chosen child? When's the last time you have made a decision with the confidence that you've been set free in His love and grace?
How often do we see ourselves as stupid or ugly or too scared? This isn't who we are, friends. You were made in God's image (Genesis 1:27). God isn't ugly or stupid, and He doesn't make ugly or stupid. He makes masterpieces (Ephesians 2:10). YOU are a masterpiece of God—chosen and made by His hands. Hear the Lord singing over you, rejoicing in your new identity in Christ, embracing that you are His child, and expressing how He loves you more than you can imagine (Zephaniah 3:17).
But receiving these truths requires humility. We can bring our honors, ribbons, and achievements before God, thinking that's what makes us special or desirable, but they are ghosts in comparison to our identity in Christ. Yes, our accomplishments can be great, but they don't qualify us for God's love. They don't add any value on our behalf in God's eyes. His love for us is truly unconditional, for once we have our identity in Christ, we become who we really are: Children of God.
Take some time to reflect on these truths of who you are and receive them in humility. Read that list regularly (and the Bible references) to remind yourself of your true identity. It's only through Jesus that we are these things. We didn't earn it, so we can't brag about it or take advantage of it. But we can claim it and hold our heads up high, put our shoulders back, because, in the end, we will stand victorious in Christ.
When you see yourself as Christ sees you, others may begin to see you that way too. If you are steady and secure in your identity in Him, your actions, speech, and life will express God's love. You may find more opportunities to share the gospel, and Christ will be all the more glorified.
Remember who your Father says you are, because it's in Him where your true identity can be found. You're a child of the One True God. That's worth celebrating. You're worth celebrating.
If you are a Christian, you have a secret identity that you may not be aware of: an identity in Christ. Once you become a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17), your whole identity changes because you've been rescued and redeemed from sin and darkness and welcomed into God's Kingdom family (Galatians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:9). You are handpicked by God, treasured, irreplaceable, loved, forgiven, worth dying for, free, precious, and so much more. Even if you don't feel it, know that it is true. You're a child of the One True God. That's worth celebrating. You're worth celebrating.
Stephanie is a 21-year old with a passion to see believers grow and become passionate in their relationship with the Lord. She is a lover of sweat tea, sunshine, and the freedom that comes from Christ. In her free time, she can be found singing, playing guitar, writing or jamming out to Hawk Nelson, Phil Wickham, and worship music. Her dreams are to become a worship leader and a published author, while living a life full of fun and joy that comes from the Lord.