Just today the topic of identity came up with a good friend of mine. Firstly I love the fact that I have christian sisters who point me to Jesus and remind me that when things go wrong my identity is in Christ and equally when things go right my identity is still in Christ. She is good at pointing me in the right direction. But it made me think about how we see ourselves and what our identity is rooted in.
Identity is the key question in our culture today. Just switch on the TV and you will see hundreds of adverts that tell you who you could be or should be. You could be beautiful, you could be happy with this product, holiday or DFS Sofa. It is all about you and your needs and your identity is wrapped up in what you buy, wear, listen to and watch. Then opinions of appreciation and admiration will bubble up and make you feel good and your identity well established.
Welcome to the world where we can buy heaven online. Where the effect is more devastating then plummeting into recession, in fact it causes a ripple of insecurity and lost identity. Soon those things will become boring and the want, nay, need for more swallows you until you buy the next material thing.
Is that what makes you who you really are? Perhaps if we search ourselves a little more we may find that this need of having more stuff or need to feel appreciated by others is just an outworking of a heart issue. Yet as Christians we are told that our identity is in Christ and we need to more then ever cling to that. What does that look like in practice?
Galatians 2:20 is key. Right there is the heart of christian identity and living. Paul says we need to die. We need to die to our self by being crucified with Christ to find that we no longer live. This is counter cultural. The world is saying we need to find our identity and Paul is saying you need to lose it, to die to yourself and then Christ will live in you. Your identity is no longer in yourself, but in Christ. How does that happen? Well the second half of the verse explains, "the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God". Christian you should no longer be consumed with yourself, it is no longer about you and your needs because you live for something more and your faith is in the Son of God. Why? because "he loved me and gave himself up for me".
The more we look for identity in those around us or inside of us, the more we will be frustrated and lost. Paul is telling us to die to ourselves, it is no longer your life but Christs, he determines what you do and He is your identity and we have such fulfillment and assurance in Him because He loves us and gave himself up for us. He loves you and gave himself up for you. Therefore, your worth is from Him, your accepted by Him and you are deeply loved. How satisfying and complete to know that you no longer have to search and strive for identity and assurance because the Creator, Eternal God of the Universe gives you the greatest identity in Christ. But you have to turn away from yourself and start to live by faith in the Son of God.