Finding Identity

Sometimes I go through life feeling like Homer Simpson fumbling around throughout the day.  Guys know how this goes.  Look at a girl at the store a bit too long or a scene on TV, “Doh!”  They offer donuts at work “mmmm…donuts”, but then I eat too many, “Doh!”  Then I drop something on my toes and exclaim, “@#$%!”…”Doh!”

Romans 7 describes our struggle to a tee.   In 22 Paul declares that in spite of his struggle, deep within he delights in doing the right thing:

For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

Verse 17 says it’s not our own selves at work, but our sinful nature.  Even when temptation surrounds me and all I feel is weakness, I have to realize and declare by faith, “THIS IS NOT WHO I AM!”

Back in my old church they’d teach on speaking the right words with your mouth.  We even once had a list of verses telling who we are in Christ.  I wasn’t as excited at the time, but now I crave this.

1 Cor 5:21 says we are the righteousness of God.  Verse 17 says we’re a new creation.  Think about it.  We spend half our time feeling guilty and repenting, because we screw up so much and yet these verses show that at heart we truly are holy, only because God made us so.  Perhaps we hear these verses, but they don’t sink in and so we have trouble believing them.

Life is a process of figuring out who we are.  When we’re in High School we label ourselves and gather with similar labels: “prep”, “nerd”, “jock”, “goth”, “rocker”, “churchperson”, “slacker”.  But then we mature out of these classifications, but still define ourselves more subtly by what we do, how much money we make, who we’re with, where we go, etc.

A name is a powerful mark of identity.  When we can’t remember someone’s name we describe them to others with external attributes like, “The girl with the funky glasses and dark hair” or “That guy who sings showtunes in the stall” or whatever it might be.

Ever seen the movie “Fight Club”?  These guys couldn’t seem to find their identity with women or their computers so they just start punching each other…or themselves. :-)

Lack of identity can be pretty obvious when guys talk a bit too much about how much they make or how many push-ups they can do, but it can be more subtle as well.  It can happen with worship team members showing off riffs and distracting the practice.  Or at a pastors meeting with the discussions about numbers or the amount of unchurched kids they have.

Sometimes we can find our identity in the church.  What I mean is that rather than being defined by Christ, we can end up being defined by the church we attend.

I’ve heard of marriages surviving over the long haul by learning to define themselves in Christ not with each other or with what they do.  Single guys searching for the right one have got to find themselves first.  Your favorite advice, “Hey, just be yourself.” lol

I’ve gone through many seasons where I had to find my identity as a worshipper, a man after God’s heart, and not so much what I do i.e. play the guitar, be creative, etc.  This is a continual process through the dry seasons.

If my hands were cut off or I went deaf, who would I be?  Perhaps my music would be taken away, but I could still worship with all my heart.  Hey, look at Beethoven.  I’m not exactly sure of where he was at spiritually, but after going deaf he composed the grand Symphony #9 from which we get the tune of “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee”.  Something obviously had to inspire him in some way.

Consider this: If your external values whether hobbies, skills, money, clothing style, career, etc. were suddenly taken away, how would you identify yourself?  Perhaps this can be a scary thought, but it’s okay.

Take time, pray, and seek the answers.  Embrace the journey.

Declare the identity of God, or shall we say the names of God, “Elohim”-God, the Judge and Creator, “Jehovah Saboath”– the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Powers, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Find your identity in Him, then let Him reveal you to you.

 

Category: Guy Stuff, Personal Growth, Spiritual Thoughts |

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