A Christian’s true identity – Spotlight
Posted: Thursday, Jan 27th, 2011
BY: Tori Vigil

Sometimes when life gets hard, or busy you might forget who you really are. It’s easy to get lost in your work, or in your relationships, or get discouraged because life has beaten you up.

When this happens your priorities might get all out of whack and you might place your identity in other people or things. I’ve found that placing your identity outside yourself is not a good thing.

There are no guarantees in life, and I’ve learned this the hard way.

You could go to school, get a degree, and find the perfect job, but there is no guarantee that job will be there forever. If you make that job your highest priority, or put your identity in that job, in that career, then when it’s gone who are you, and what was all that work for?

You could find the perfect partner, make a commitment to each other and get married, but there is no guarantee that marriage will last forever. Your partner could die, or choose to leave you, or do things that force you to leave them. If you make that person your highest priority, or put your identity in that other person, when they are gone who are you?

You could have always wanted to be a mother, and finally it happened. You love it and do your very best. But children grow up and leave home, or sometimes they go home to God. When you put your identity in being a mother, then when your children are not there anymore, who are you?

For a Christian, your identity should be found in Christ, in who God created you to be. Your highest priority should be God’s will for your life.

Being a student at school is a purpose, being a working woman is a purpose, being a wife or mother is a purpose, not an identity.

An African proverb says that, “who you are is a gift from God, and what you do with yourself is your gift to God.”

By making love your highest priority, by loving and caring for your family, by being good at your job, those are your gifts to God. They are your current purpose. Your purpose can change from time to time. It’s your destiny that will always remain constant. That ultimate reason God put you on this planet for. Your identity is wrapped up in that destiny.

Jesus’ ultimate destiny was to save humanity. The form in which he did that changed throughout his life. Jesus went through a journey of changing purposes, just like we do. As a child his purpose was to obey his parents, as a youth it was to be a carpenter, as he started his ministry it was to teach his disciples, preach to the people, and heal the sick. Jesus never wrapped up his identity in those around him. He never made his purpose who he was, but rather it was just something he did. His identity remained in God.

If you’ve been abused by your parents don’t wrap up your identity as a victim. If you’ve experienced domestic violence, don’t wrap up your identity as being damaged goods. If you’ve lost your job, don’t wrap up your identity as a jobless nobody who will have to settle for less in order to get by. If you’re marriage is over, don’t wrap up your identity as a failure, or become a bitter creature. All of these circumstances are simply that, a circumstance. Circumstances do not make you who you are, they will only reveal who you have chosen to be at this moment. Choose God’s best, choose destiny.

One day, a while back I was sitting and thinking and asking myself, “what am I doing wrong, I go to church, I help people, I read all these really great books…” and in the middle of my mumbling to myself I heard the Holy Spirit gently ask, “when was the last time you read the word?” I was shocked. I read it all the time. And the Holy Spirit said, “you’ve read what others write about the word, why not go to The Word yourself.” Now, don’t get me wrong it’s good to read. I’m glad you’re reading this article. But there is no substitute for God’s word. Why tip toe around the well asking others for a drink from their buckets when you could go to the well and fill up your own bucket. Pray to God yourself, ask God your questions directly, seek God out for yourself, in him is where your true identity can be found.

Tori is an author, speaker and reporter in the SLV. She can be reached at http://torivigil.tripod.com.