Our Identity

What do you think is most important about yourself? How do you identify yourself? I can give many poor examples of how I would often describe myself and things I might even think are distinctly important about me. Perhaps it is my unrestrained and unlimited commitment to a sport that is in front of me so that I do not even realize the consequence that diving for the ball may have on my body. That surely sets me apart from some others. Perhaps it is my large appetite which never seems to stop. Maybe I think my hair color or who I surround myself with is really how someone can know me. I could say it’s my love for this sport, game, or team. But are any of these things what scripture says should be characteristic of God’s people? Scripture says that others should come up to us and say, “what is the reason of the hope that is in you?” Something will set us apart and we will look unique in this world. Our identity is in Jesus Christ! However the devil is confusing the whole world and causing an identity crisis. 

The Devil has many large scale attacks on identity nowadays. The world is up in arms about identifying with one’s race. It seems crazy we are back to this point again, but we really are. The world is pushing for people to separate themselves by their race and color. However, God says that His people are from all nations, tribes, and tongues. This should not separate us. It is merely one aspect of the body of Christ and these differences are for the benefit of the whole body. 

Not only does the devil try to confuse us and make us focus on our race, but the devil has succeeded in convincing this world that there are more than two genders. It is simply an abomination of the order in which God set the world. Man once again turns against God’s natural use and order prescribed to man. What we see too is that these homes and individuals are confused and hurting. God’s way for God’s world works. We must not try to reinterpret what has been clearly explained in the beginning. We should find a sense of comfort in the fact that it is so simple. I am either a man or a woman and God gave me that status before I was even born. 

Maybe the way the devil has caught us is by making us focus on our wealth and occupation. How many people are consumed with their work and merely see themselves as an engineer, doctor, pilot, or athlete? Sure these things are important and we must reach for success in the occupation God has given us, but that is still not who you are. You are not defined by the amount of money in your bank account. The brethren in the church should not see you this way and when you reach heaven one day that occupation will not matter anymore. 

Perhaps the work of the devil that confuses the most young people is the attempt to make us citizens of this world. In America, young people seek an identity in the conservative or liberal camp. It is not wrong to vote, support a bill, or elect a president, but this should not be the only thing people know about us. There has been a phenomenon in recent years: many Christian young people who shamelessly followed Trump (a great sinner we must admit) with no hesitation or restraint. Trump was the only thing any of their t-shirts have said and everything they shared on social media was pro-Trump. This support worried me. When someone looks at such a devout follower will they ask “what is the reason for the hope in you?” or will people see someone who’s looking for a kingdom on this earth?

Yet another identity struggle can be found in the university. I’m a Griffin, I’m a Spartan I’m a Troll, I’m a Coyote, I’m a Knight, or I’m a Night Owl. That can indeed be a part of our life. I could have been labeled a “Night Owl” since I attended WGU, but we should never be consumed by school life so that it brings us apart from the church. College is not four years to take a break from church so you can go off and then come back more prepared to make money to support the church and poor. College is a time of education and preparation for a career. Yet college is still just a part of life. Our lives should be lived entirely in the service of God. Even in a Christian school, we must be careful that our identity ultimately remains in Christ. Even if the college itself has exactly the same views and understandings as we do, the students can still lead us away from the truth. 

We must not identify ourselves by pointing to our skin, gender, employer, country, or school. We are citizens of heaven, children of the Most High, and the bride of Christ. Our joy is in Him and His church. We should prefer the church above our chief joy (Psalm 137:6).  Living as God’s children in this world we will look different and be different. Yes, we will be outcast in the world for uniting ourselves to Christ. Indeed, having Christ as our spiritual identity will cause us to face persecution in the world but we will also receive endless blessings from our heavenly Father for Jesus’ sake.

By Luke Potjer

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