One of the most common problems in our society today and for us as young people is the problem of identity.
We struggle to know who we are and we struggle to remember who we are in Christ. The result is that we often look for that identity in things that aren’t stable enough to support it. We look for our identity in the temporary and non-satisfying things. We move from thing to thing and are left with emptiness and unfulfilled potential.
Here are 3 places I see where we try to place our identity when we fail to remember who we really are…
1. Others’ opinions
– When we value others’ opinions more than God’s or more than our own self esteem, we fall into the trap of having to please others in order to be validated. We become so self conscious that trying to be sure that those around us like us and how we look that it controls who we are… a people pleaser is WHO we actually become.
– The danger in this is that we’re never going to make everyone happy at the same time. People are different and change their minds. What pleased those people you searched for identity with yesterday may not today. It’s a no win situation.
2. Our safety
– It may sound odd, but some of us are placing our identity in anything we can control. This is one of the sources for eating disorders and self mutilation. We see all the things around us that we have no control of so we identify with that which we do.
– This is the opposite of placing our identity in Jesus. Having our identity with Him says, “I know I’m not in control and that’s okay, he knows better anyway.” Be careful if you find yourself spending too much time trying to control your world, the consequences aren’t good.
– Trust God. He’s brought you this far. Relinquish control and admit that He’s your worth.
3. The world’s quick fixes
– This may be the most obvious. Since the beginning of the world, this has been happening. If we think about it, this was at least party Eve’s problem in the garden. She forgot she was God’s creation and made in His image and so she chased with the world offered her.
– The problems with finding our identity in this quick fix stuff is that it never lasts and it demands more. It demands more of a high, more money, more stuff, more sex, more of whatever it may be. When we forget that Jesus has given it all, we’re left with a search for something else to fill that identity void.
What else do you see us trying to find our identity in?