Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Identity


Who are we? What makes up our identities? What is it about our lives that we identify with? What would we be lost without? What could we discard without a second thought.
As much as I desire to identify with Christ first, it is very difficult for me to put that at the forefront of my identity. More often, if people ask me about myself, I identify with being a teacher. That is very common; for our careers to identify us. It is ordinary for us to orient ourselves and self perceptions based on what we get paid to do all day. But why is that? Why are we affected so much by our jobs? If my job were suddenly taken away, or if I were finally able to stay at home with Charlotte, how would that affect my identity? That's a question worth considering. If one moment, our jobs ceased to exist (which in this economy is not a far stratch of the imagination) who would we be? Are our identities strong enough to weather that storm, and further, is Christ's identity in us enough?
We also identify ourselves based on relationships: we're single, married, parents or not, friends, siblings, children. The same question applies here as to occupation, but it's harder. If all of our relationships were swept away Job-style, and all we had left was one person in our lives telling us that God obviously hated us (which I fear happens very often in our fallen world), that we should just give up and die, who would we be? Again, is Christ enough in our lives? Is Christ enough to sustain our identity? For most of us, I fear that He is not enough, even though we rarely consider this.
Because of course our lives are filled with so many things that occupy us and consume us. Because of course we save our relationship with the Lord Almighty for last, giving our Creator the leftovers of our lives if anything.
I'm not even talking about trust or God's sovereignty or providence. I'm just talking about identity. Where does our identity lie? Do we need to re-evaluate what determines our identity today?

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