Before this past year, I never really put much stock in all this talk about “identity.”
Maybe it was because I already thought I knew who I was. Or maybe it was because I never realized how wrong so many of my thoughts about myself were.
Whatever it was, I blew off talks of identity as too self-focused. I saw it as a way to build other people’s self-images–simply trying to make people feel better about themselves. As if feelings can solve anything, I thought.
The reason I’m starting out my blog with this post is because I now realize that understanding your identity is the most important thing you will ever do. Answering those big questions–Who am I? Why am I here? What is my unique role to play in this community? In the world?–will not just become how you define your life. They will become your life.
The reality is, we drive in the direction we are looking. We follow our idea of who we are to its next logical conclusion every time. That’s why it is so, so important to actually THINK about who we think we are.
If I see myself as inadequate, “not enough,” then guess what? I’m never going to go very far.
If I see myself as meant to enjoy life to the fullest, then guess what? My one goal in life is to have fun. To be happy.
If I see myself as the girl meant to solve the world’s problems, then guess what? You got it–an overwhelmed hopelessness at all the evil in the world–and burnout trying to make a dent.
If I see myself as the Beloved of God
If I see myself full of the power of the Holy Spirit
If I see myself as one who has been given incomparable riches through Christ
If I see myself intimately connected to the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe…
..then guess what? My life is going to head in that direction.
Let’s go back to that again: embedding yourself rock-solid in who you are is the most important thing you’ll ever do.
Now, remember how I said I used to blow that off, because it sounded too self-centered? Well here’s the beautiful thing we’ll explore in the next two posts. A rock-solid identity doesn’t just change how you view yourself, and the outcome of your life. It does two things more important than that: opens your heart up to love and worship of your Creator, and forever changes the way you see those around you as well.
When we look at it this way, we see that coming to terms with our identity is merely a step in the process. We can’t stop there, as if the whole point was to make us feel better about ourselves. True identity-shift will always bring us back into a posture of worship and compassion.