LENT: IDENTITY

We can get so lost in our identity, our lack of. Unknowingly, we all are searching for a place to belong. Fit in. Feel accepted. When we accept Jesus, He is to be our Lord and Savior. We are to take on His identity as our own. This is what it means to be a Christ-follower.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:8-9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

But for some reason, this doesn’t seem like enough. 

And we misplace our identity in a label.

Social Media: Mom|Wife|Friend

Small Talk: teacher|accountant|sales|student

Identifiers: Mrs.|M.D.| Ph.D.

We find ourselves losing ourselves in our jobs, our hobbies, our talents, our college, or sorority. Perhaps our state, or city, or neighborhood. Human nature is funny in a way…we all are searching for a place to belong and feel accepted and loved. We all have a longing to fit in.

Years ago, I️ remember how unsatisfying I️ felt as a stay-home mom. When asked the question, “What do you do?” I️ would struggle to respond. And then I️ found my identity in running. My sweet neighbor invited me to run with a group in our hood and it was amazing! I️ had a place to belong and feel accepted with one caveat…getting up at 5 am. But it was so worth it! I️ loved working towards a marathon goal with this group of women and sharing in each other’s ups and downs.

But then…

I️ injured my hip and was unable to keep up the pace. And eventually, I️ had to resign from my mega-running. This meant giving up my identity as a runner. Also, this meant that I️  no longer would see my group of friends every day. I️ recall having an identity crisis and asking the questions, “Who am I️ ?” “Do I️ matter?” Why am I️ even here?”

Identity Crisis Emotions

When faced with an identity crisis, our emotions can begin to run rampant. We can run on the treadmill of despair, unworthiness, anger, and bitterness. Furthermore, the dumbbells of shame, guilt, jealousy, emptiness, and loneliness are nearby. It is during these times that we feel invisible. No one notices us. And unknowingly, we wear these name tags around as badges defining who we are.

At times like this…

We need to speak truth into our lives. Because our identity is not to be found in the things of this world. Our identity is to be found in Jesus. Clearly, the things of this world will not satisfy. Labels and nametags are rooted in accomplishments, fame, power, or earthly relationships. However, when we begin to see that our failures and successes do not define us–Jesus does–then life has a new perspective.

We were created to worship. As a result, we look to earthly things to fulfill us and identify us. However, God says we are most satisfied when we find our identity in Him. This looks upside-down from what the world tells us. When our identity is found in God, and not ourselves, suddenly our failures, weaknesses, and setbacks can be used to proclaim the name of Jesus. Instead of focusing on us, we can redirect to Jesus.

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Ps. 100:3

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I️ praise you today for who You are and what You are doing! May I️ find my identity in you and not in the things of this world. Amen.