Have you ever seen someone’s biography on their social media profile that lists out their attributes point by point?
In most cases, this short list is trying to convey that person’s identity.
For example, mine might say, “Christ Follower. Husband. Father. Software Developer.”
And now that I’ve shown you what I believe my identity is, it can be incredibly easy to pretend that I have an amazing relationship with Jesus, that I have the world’s most perfect family, that I’m a super dad, and that I wrote the standard for creating amazing software.
But of course, nothing is ever as it seems on the outside.
As the rapper Andy Mineo says, and I paraphrase, “We throw up pictures of the party, but not the one throwing up at the end.”
Basically, we display our best selves to the world but leave out all of the ugly struggles.
And honestly, it’s a struggle to not be consumed by what the world says I should be when the world is always watching and waiting for me to fail.
More recently, I’ve seen friends and family members become consumed by their identity through their ethnicity, race, gender, or political party.
There is a war between whose identity is acceptable by the world.
But it’s not supposed to be this way.
As Christians, we are called to place our identity in Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that we are made in the image of God.
Then why is it so difficult to let go of our worldly identity?
The truth is we all want to be known, seen, heard, and valued.
The world tells us that if we conform to their standards, then we will find all the happiness we need.
By creating our own identity using the world’s standards, we feel like we are important. We feel like we belong and have value.
John 15:19 tells us that the world will only love us if we conform to their ways.
Romans 12:2 warns us to not be conformed by the world.
1 Peter 1:16 calls us to be holy, which literally means to be set apart from what the world is telling us to do or be.
Here is the issue: our human nature.
There is a part of us that understands we need to place our identity in Jesus Christ, but the other part of us craves love and acceptance by the world.
The Bible is clear that we are to be in the world, but not of the world. And when we become consumed by our worldly identity, we are headed in the wrong direction.
So, the question for you is this: what direction are you heading in?