Today, I want to write about identity.
What is it, why is it essential that we know and understand it?
Wikipedia defines identity philosophically as whatever makes an entity definable and recognizable.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the distinguishing character or personality of an individual; a person’s individuality.
I prefer to use Wikipedia’s Social Science definition, which is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person or group
In my earlier blogs, I have written about self-image and self-esteem. I believe that knowing your identity helps you understand and develop these terms.
I grew up as a person from a specific family (nuclear and extended), from a particular place in a country. That was enough to identify me at a time. After a while, my external definitions were not enough.
I questioned my identity as a scholar, as a worker, as a mother. Was I just on earth to be what my physical environment dictated that I was? My questions stemmed from the films and books I had read and watched since childhood, was I born to be a girl, then a woman, then a mother, maybe grandmother, and then die? Or was I here for something else more significant than me?
My identity is from the word of God. Over time, it is helping me become the person God called me to be.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified”– Romans 8: 29, 30
The verse above states that God knew me before I was born. He knew me, He planned a destiny for me. After I was born, He called me, then justified me in Christ and put His glory over me. These verses are very different from what I grew up understanding, which means there are different realities to dwell in, the physical and the spiritual.
The spiritual says that God who knew me before I was born, also planned my life out at that time. He has activated that plan on the earth by calling me, justifying me, and the end product is His glory. So, the question now is, how does a regular person put these two identities together to live the life God called us to out?
First of all, make the decision. Where do you choose to dwell, in the physical or in Jesus Christ? Now when I say physical and in Jesus Christ (spiritual), I don’t mean to leave the body and exist in a space-like environment.
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”– Romans 8:12-14
To live in the physical is to live and be ruled by the flesh or by our senses. To live in the spiritual is to be led and governed by the Spirit of God. The scriptures say that if the Spirit leads you, you have life, and that makes you a son of God.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”– John 1:12, 13
John also confirms it, that in Jesus Christ, we have the right to be God’s children; all those not born of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God (His Spirit)
I daresay that’s my identity right there. By the death of Christ on the cross, I am a child of God, being led by His Spirit. The following now applies to me:
- I chose to live in the spiritual, which means being led by the Spirit of God at all times
- This state helps me to form the qualities of God, features, and characteristics. I take on God’s personality
- My belief system changes from the prevalent or popular order to God’s. I believe the word of God as taught by God’s Spirit
- I am part of a group (God’s children) who have this identity, so I am not alone.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”– John 8:32
I have seen that in life, to attain peace is not guaranteed in any state; in wealth or poverty, employed or jobless, healthy or sick, married or single, having children or being barren. Life has taught me that who I am in Christ, is who I was created to be and that truth has brought me peace. I believe that wholeheartedly.
So what are the challenges for today?
- Do you know who you are?
- Are you at peace with it?
- Do you want to find peace?
Till next time, be transformed!