Have you ever had an identity crisis? A period of time in which you were unsure of your role in life. Or perhaps you feel, even today, that you don’t know the “real you.” In today’s fast-paced ever-changing world it is easy to lose sight of our identity. People tend to experience a loss of identity at many stages in life, but specifically at points where change is greatest. One of the questions that might be asked during these times is, “Who am I?” Looking to others and asking, “Who do you say I am,” can be enlightening or startling if it doesn’t line up with the real you. The variety of answers come because people see things differently depending on a range of things.
Take, for example, 3 people who were getting their first look at the Grand Canyon: a minister, an archaeologist, and a cowboy. The minister exclaimed, “Truly this is one of the glories of God!” The archaeologist commented, “What a foundation of nature this is!” And the cowboy replied, “Can you imagine trying to find a lost steer in there?” People just see things differently, depending on their stage in life, education, experiences, and beliefs. So, when trying to help identify someone, a variety of answers may also come about as everyone has a different reference point.
Perhaps this is why there is so much chaos in our world today, as everyone is using a different reference point. What is needed is a universal reference point. A point where everyone can agree that “Here, this is where a good life is lived.” It is through this point that people could align their identity with a grounded reference point in which to guide their life.
The Reference Point
For Christians, there is such a reference point, Jesus Christ. When we identify ourselves with Christ by asking, “What would Jesus do?” we can change our identity to align with Him. It is through consistently asking of ourselves this question that we can move our lives forward into righteous living. As we look to Christ for His identity, we see the revealed character of God and how He patterned the ideal life for all humans.
But for many, there is an identity issue with Christ too. This is not of course to say He had a crisis but throughout time even up to today many different things are thought about His identity by the unbeliever. Non-Christians may say any number of things about who they feel Jesus is depending on their life experiences. But to understand this, it is important to look back in time to see just where all the confusion came from.
When we look back, we see that the Messianic hope of those in the Jewish community held a belief that the Chosen One would reestablish the sovereignty or power of Israel. Those in this belief felt this would come about with a forceful overthrow and destruction of the current ruling power. However, before that would happen the prophet Elijah would return to announce the Chosen One.
Because of all of these hopes and expectations, Jesus knew the importance of explaining to both His disciples and others His identity. Furthermore, they needed to understand that what He was offering was something completely different than what they expected.
Finding Your Identity
Jesus began by warning them against the wrong teaching. When we identify with Christ and take our identity in Him, we must step forward in faith and believe. Then we can see more clearly the miracles that God can do in our lives and that Christ provides everything we need. By saying yes, to follow Him as our forgiver and leader, we can take and align our identity with Him.
When we are asked who we say Christ is, we should reply with bold confidence, like Peter, that Jesus is our Lord, Messiah, and Savior. We can stand firm in our identity, and like Peter, confess that Jesus is the Divine and promised Messiah. It is only through this identity that we can live a confident and bold life knowing that there is nothing on earth or even Hell that can stand in the way of Christ and His message.
Simeon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”Matthew 16:16 (NLT)
When we claim our identity in Christ, we recognize that He is the only one that can give security in an insecure world. But to fully grasp this belief, it is important to understand the resurrection. Lee Strobel, in his book, “The Case for Christ,” says we need to clearly understand the difference that it makes today that a man rose from the dead 2000 years ago.
Identity in the Resurrection
The resurrection establishes fully Jesus’ identity. It validates the Christian faith. And the resurrection energizes the gospel message. When these 3 points are seen, the level of understanding opens so that we can know with confidence that Christ provides everything we need. He is our Savior, forgiver, and leader. Christ is always with us and He is the only one that can help us through life no matter what upsets life may throw in our path.
When we identify with Christ, we can hold our identity in Him. We can boldly stand up for Christ and tell others who He is. Christ, alone, holds the words of eternal life. He is the only source.
So, won’t you challenge yourself to boldly identify with Jesus and allow your identity to align fully with Him? Find your conviction rooted strongly in the scriptures of the resurrection understanding their importance in your life today. Seek your motivation through His sacrifice for you on the cross. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing not only who you are, but whose you are.
Love in Christ,
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.C.S. Lewis
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you ever felt you lost your identity? Do you identify and claim your identity in Christ? Share your thoughts on the importance of knowing not only who you are, but whose you are.