Believe it or not, some of the greatest revelations in life can come from a church sermon. I remember a few weeks back my church started a series about “reclaiming your purpose,” and the point of that particular sermon hit me hard enough that I had to write it down. It was a “fill in the blank” statement, and in my case it was this: Am I a dispatcher who just happens to be a Christian or am I a Christian that just happens to be a dispatcher? What a powerful question to ask, and it certainly got me thinking about how I view myself, my job, and my identity overall.
The average person in American Society is bound to carry many different identities over their lifetime. People define themselves by their jobs, parenthood, spouse, hobbies, vices, religion, politics and so much more. If you were to take a poll of which identity was the most important to people, you would certainly get some varied answers. Holding to these identities isn’t necessarily wrong, however most of them are fleeting. Not only are they fleeting, they are entirely tied to this world and we cannot take them with us when we die.
We are all guilty of letting the many hats we wear get the best of us. I myself am guilty of experiencing my own identity crisis. Recently, I have realized just how personal my identity as a dispatcher has become, to the point of possibly even being an idol. Due to the impact the hours have on family life, I have considered looking into an alternate career field, however I always hit the roadblock that giving up that identity would be giving up a large part of myself. The problem with this is the burden it places on my spiritual health and the limits it places on my ability to follow God’s plan. Most importantly, it is unhealthy to place so much of my value in an identity that I will not always have.
The simple resolution to the identity crisis is this: the most important identity you have is your identity in Christ! Who He says you are is much more important than who you are according to a job title. Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder and guess about it either because scripture has painted a beautiful picture of the identity you are endowed with in Christ. According to God’s word you are:
A New Creation
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
A Child of God
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.“ – 1 John 3:1
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” – Ephesians 1:7
Light of the World
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus paid the ultimate price to sanctify you and make these attributes possible. Depending on other sources for an identity will only leave you ultimately disappointed and the people tasked with supporting that identity will be burdened with a load they were never meant to carry. I would even say that God created us with a Jesus shaped hole in our soul and if we try to fill it with anything but Him, we will never feel complete. The great theologian Charles Spurgeon said, “My faith rests not in what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is, in what he has done, and in what he is doing for me.” By placing our identity in Christ at the forefront, His love will flow through and enrich every other aspect of life. Therefore, go forth and boldly be who you were created to be and the rest will fall within His will.
“Our identity is for the sake of making known His identity. The meaning of our identity is that the excellency of God be seen in us.” ~ John Piper