We live in a world where people are constantly searching for their identity. They try and find it in their career, in their relationships, in their possessions, or in their looks. There is a gnawing ache inside each of them that longs to be filled, so life becomes a relentless pursuit to define who they are. Typically when you ask someone who they are, they respond by telling you what they do or in what circles they run.
Identity is an intensely personal and internal concept that we mysteriously try and define through that which is external. Sadly, even some believers in Christ fall into this trap of Satan. In order to define ourselves, we must first understand what does not define us.
Your circumstances do not define you
Circumstances are fleeting. What you are going through today could change dramatically by tomorrow. Each day brings a whole new set of circumstances to bear on our lives. The car won’t start, you burn the toast, and your hot water tank springs a link… all of these circumstances can cause you to think your life is cursed. You have bad luck and always will. You allow momentary fortunes to define who you are, and the stories you tell yourself begin to manifest in your life as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Allowing circumstances to define you only assures that your identity will be ever shifting without any sense of a foundation.
Your season of life does not define you
A step up from allowing circumstances to define you is letting your season of life define you. Perhaps things were going great for a long time, and then your spouse died or you lost your job. If you found your identity in those things, it will feel as if your entire life has disintegrated beneath your feet. But just as God was with you in the good times, He’ll be with you in the bad. Soon you will move to a new season of life that may be better, perhaps worse, but it will be different. When you define yourself by the season of life in which you find yourself, you limit your effectiveness for the Kingdom by focusing on your own issues.
Only God defines you
The only place you can truly find your identity is in God. He created you, so He knows precisely who you are. You are His child whom He loves with an unfathomable and unconditional love. He gazes at you and sees a child of His who has unsurpassable worth to Him.
No matter the circumstance or season of life, you are God’s beloved. He bled and died for you. He longs for you. He knows you are special, because that’s the way He created you. No matter what else happens in life, your status in His eyes never changes. When times are tough, He is there to hold you. When life is great, He dances beside you. Inside each of us is a unique combination of talents, passions, and skills He gifted to us in order to build His Kingdom and further His mission. This is who we are. We are special, unique individuals designed to honor and glorify God through our acts of love and service to others. It is God’s love that defines us. We need look nowhere else.