Who Are You?
Friday, February 15, 2019
Tags: Identity in Christ Christ in us
Your deepest longing is to understand where you came from and the purpose for which you were made.
Welcome to Life as God Intended. I'm Don Burzynski. And I'm excited that you've tuned in today as we begin a six-part series on your identity in Christ. Today, I want to begin by asking a question: How do you identify yourself? When you think about yourself, how do you identify yourself? And if we are to experience life as God intended, this is the most important question that we could answer: who we are, what our identity is. And unfortunately there's a lot of confusion as to the subject of identity as we're going to begin to see as we present this today. And as a result, a lot of people go to great lengths searching to discover who they are. Now, we'll kind of pick on the children and the teens and the young people a little bit. And yet really this is true of adults as well, to be honest.
Some children and teens tend to do some astonishing things to try to find their identity. They get involved in cliques and sometimes join gangs and even endanger themselves for the approval of others, often in desperation to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. So that they fit in with their peer groups, they will compromise their own sexuality to fit in and be accepted. They will dye their hair bizarre colors and buy expensive clothes that they don't really like, but their peer group likes, so they do it anyway. They'll even experiment with drugs in a search for identity. Often parents referring to their struggling children will say, 'they're simply trying to find themselves. They're simply trying to discover their identity'. But what are they really trying to find?
In his book, Psychology: How to Build Your Personal Identity, Adam Cash believes personal identity consists of the things that make you stand out in a crowd, which consists of three things, according to him. Number one, your appearance, how you look; number two, your style, how you talk, your body language and your facial expressions are 'undeniably you', he says, 'and everyone has a particular way of speaking and moving'. And, finally, number three, your personality, your personality, which consists of characteristics that are different from others and to see and observe and which consists of your thoughts and your emotions. So, what do you think? Is he right? Are those the three criteria that determine your identity: your appearance, your style, and your personality? Let me go back to that original question and elaborate on it a little bit. What is the most important part of your identity? Is it your gender, your race, your nationality, your religious affiliation? What about your age? Maybe it's your physical or reasoning abilities or your political beliefs? Is there one part of your identity that stands out from the rest? Or, does your identity change depending on who you're with or what you're involved in or where you are in life in the journey? As you can see, there's all kinds of factors that people use to describe and to determine their identity. But are these valid considerations when it comes to the question: who are you at the deepest level of your identity? And for that matter, why does identity even matter? Identity is concerned largely with the question of: who are you? Who are you? And what does it mean to be who you are? You see, now we're getting to the heart of identity. Who you are is often referred to as self-identity.
So, if someone asked you who you are, would you be comfortable in giving them an answer? Have you ever wondered who you are at the deepest level of your being? Do you have a clear understanding as to your identity and why it matters and how your identity is determined? Wow. The more we ask these questions, the more intrigued we become by the subject. You see, these are extremely important questions. And how you answer them will determine largely how you live. Often people view themselves through the eyes of a variety of things. For example, some people view themselves through the eyes of government. If you ask them about their identity, they would maybe hand you a birth certificate or a social security number or a driver's license. Maybe you view yourself through the eyes of psychology. Psychology defines identity based on one's own sense of self which determines who you are. The way you perceive yourself, your actions, your thoughts and your interactions with others would all influence your identity according to psychology. Still, others would view themselves through the eyes of sociology. In sociology, identity begins with the assumption that there is a give-and-take relationship between the individual and society. Others view themselves through the eyes of religion. In religion, identity is the belief in and reverence for a supernatural power. But there are all kinds of varying views in the realm of religion.
So, as you can see, there are a wide variety of ways identity has been defined. To understand how identity is formed, we must first get a grasp of what identity really is. To put it simply, identity is something that defines who you are as an individual, as a person, your identity. And a healthy identity comes from understanding the truth about yourself as God has designed. Well, that's kind of the first reference that we've even mentioned about God in this consideration. And yet, ultimately, that's what matters most.
Unfortunately many people that I counsel live with uncertainty regarding who they are and how God has designed them to experience life. It is a natural, God-given desire for you to want to know yourself and how to relate to other people. That's God-given. Your deepest longing is to understand where you came from and the purpose for which you were made. Sadly, many a person does not have clarity or confidence in knowing the truth of their identity and live with psychological doubts and phobias and fears as a result. Where should we begin to look for answers to these important questions of ourselves? What do the Scriptures say about who you are? Well, the Psalmist declared that "you are fearfully and wonderfully made", Psalm 139:14. But what does that mean? That you are fearfully and wonderfully made? And how do you experience peace knowing yourself as God has designed? Often we didn't start with the Bible to try to understand our importance. How did most of us develop an understanding of ourselves? In other words, how was your identity formed?
Well, you won't want to miss next week's broadcast as we consider this all important question as to how your identity was formed. So, please give us a thumbs-up for this video, share it with your friends, and make sure you tune in next week.
In his book Psychology: How to Build Your Personal Identity, Adam Cash states that personal identity consists of three main components: appearance (how you look), style (how you speak, your body language, and your facial expressions) and personality (your thoughts and feelings). Is he right? What makes up your identity? Is it your gender, race, nationality, religious affiliation, age, physical or reasoning abilities, or political beliefs? Is there one part of your identity that is more important than the rest? Does your identity change depending on your surroundings and who you are with?
Really the most important question is, who are you? and does having a clear understanding of your identity really matter?
The answer is a resounding YES!
The way you view yourself has everything to do with the choices you make and how you live your life in general. It is a natural, God-given desire for you to want to know yourself and as a result, know how to relate to others. Your deepest longing is to understand where you came from and the purpose for which you were created. Unfortunately, many people live with uncertainty regarding who they are and how God has designed them to function and experience life. Moreover, many people do not have clarity or confidence in knowing the truth of their identity and live with phycological doubts, phobias and fears.
To begin to understand who we are, we have to look to God. Often, we did not start with the bible to understand how we were formed or understand our worth, being created in the image of God. A healthy identity comes from understanding the truth about ourselves as God has designed us. Scripture says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God carefully fashioned our true identity in order to fulfill a specific purpose unto His glory. Until we understand what that means, we will not experience peace at the very essence of our being. As Christians, our identity is only found in the person of Jesus Christ.