Today, conversations concerning identity are becoming more and more common. With so many conflicting and confusing messages, we start to ask, “What is my true identity?” The path to finding your true identity starts with understanding WHO has the authority to give you an identity.
Most people in today’s culture define who they are by…
- What they have
- What they’ve done
- A job or a title
Sadly, this leaves them feeling continually inadequate compared to others. They start to doubt their worth and abilities because they don’t measure up. Or they feel the pressure to keep up.
When you operate as the world operates, abandonment, brokenness, and feelings of loss come after moments of success and can have a long-lasting impact. Or, you are continuously beaten down because you struggle to live up to the world’s standard.
Because you have misplaced your true identity.
When we value the created more than the Creator—the One who will never leave us —Jesus, we lose our footing and forget who we are.
Finding Your True Identity Is a Journey
Finding your true identity isn’t fully realized in an instant. Rather it is a journey of discovery that God takes you on as you grow and mature in Christ. Part of this journey is asking God to remind you of what is true about yourself.
Though you are made new the moment you receive the grace of God through Jesus at salvation, you might not be as quick to understand who you are in Christ.
Reflecting Your True Identity
Your identity defines who you are. It is to be a reflection of how you see yourself. It can also reflect how others see you. Your identity expresses the qualities that make you…YOU.
It's crucial to explore hobbies and interests, spend time alone, and foster connections to learn how God made you. But these merely serve as extensions of who you already are. They are landmarks on the path to finding your true identity. God uses these to reveal how He uniquely wired you for a purpose. The purpose is always…
- To know Him
- To glorify Him
- To make Him known to others.
Renouncing the Imposter Identity
If you are on a path to finding your true identity, you must be ready to eliminate the imposters. To do that, you have to define them.
- Challenge your thoughts. Take them captive and give them to God. (See 2 Corinthians 10:5).
- Examine the false identities. The enemy will lie to you about who you are. Challenge these lies, replace them with God’s truth, and you will not be outwitted. (See Psalm 89:22)
- Compare the identity others, or you have given yourself against the Word of God. (See Ephesians 1).
As you venture down the path of finding your true identity, you must get honest with God and real with yourself. Do you want validation about what you are already believing or veracity about who you really are?
What Kind of Journey Are You On? Confirmation or Truth
The culture is fascinated and intrigued by “finding your true identity.” There are assessments for everything—from personalities to beauty pageants–to inform you of who you are.
Everyone appears to be looking for information about who they are, where they belong, and how they fit into the world.
However, the information they are searching for falls into one of two categories…
- Confirmation that validates what they want to do and be
- Truth about who they actually are in Jesus
Only one of these is the path to finding your true identity.
Uncovering Your Fake Identity
Even when we battle a pattern of persistent sin, God still recognizes His image in us. Accepting the idea that God still finds beauty in us, even in our lowest moments, can be challenging.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “…though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” — Philippians 3:4-6
In Christ, our sins in the flesh do not truly define who we are. Part of finding your true identity is letting go of these false and fake identities that we hold on to because of our flesh. Some of these counterfeit identities are…
- Accomplishments and Success
The past accomplishments in our lives don't define who we are. Yes, we may have had a great career in sports, won beauty pageants when we were young, or achieved great GPAs. But these are not our identities.
In his letter, Paul continues, saying, “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” —Philippians 3:7-9
They won't hold you up when you hold on to your past accomplishments. If you lean on your past accomplishments, you will end up as someone who always talks about their glory days and won't move forward. Why? Because you will have rooted your identity in something false.
- Looks and Attention
You could base your self-worth on whether someone was interested in you, how many likes your social media post received, your appearance, your house, your clothes, or even your possessions. This gives us a misplaced identity. It is all vanity.
Think about the decisions you’ve recently made. Were those an effort to get validation from others or to please people? This indicates you’re looking to people to define you rather than God. As Galatians 1:10 says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
- The Past
Everyone is guilty of sin. God extends forgiveness and calls you “not guilty” when you put your faith in Christ. Sin or errors are also referred to as transgressions. Because of Jesus, God does not hold these things against you.
However, the mind frequently recalls past transgressions, and these recollections may leave you feeling worthless and prevent you from embracing your actual self. However, you can remember Hebrews 8:12 when battling your past, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins, and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Beware of Finding Your True Identity in Your Desires
If you are not careful, you may easily acclimate to worldly desires without knowing it. Paul writes and warns us, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame —who set their mind on earthly things.”—Philippians 3:18-19
Spending time feeding our desires makes us more susceptible to trusting in ourselves or the world rather than in Christ. We become disillusioned that our desires are more fulfilling than what Christ tells us. When this happens, we lose sight of what is in God's Word and disassociate from our true identities.
What Defines You and How to Press into Your New Identity in Jesus?
As a Christian, the path to finding your true identity is connecting with Jesus and what He says about you. Nothing is outside the reach of God's ability to redeem and restore.
We receive an identity through Jesus that is impossible for us to obtain on our own. What’s more, the Bible says that you are co-heirs with Christ. When God sees you, He sees Christ because His blood–His perfect and sinless life–covers you! You share in the same inheritance.
- “…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”–Romans 8:17
- “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”–Galatians 3:26-29
Satan could try to convince you that the only time you are deserving is when you succeed greatly. Or perhaps being flawless is the foundation of your identity. Or maybe he is lying to you that no one is concerned with your needs.
Whatever lies he tells you, put them aside and replace them with the truth! The first step in finding your true identity in Christ is to nourish your mind with the truth.
The book of Ephesians says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast — Ephesians 2:8-9 (emphasis added)
What Defines You Determines Where You Will Go Forever
The greatest way to define who we are is to totally embrace who Christ says we are. Understanding how God sees and speaks about you can help you find the answers to your identity in Christ.
3 Points to Finding Your True Identity in Jesus
- Jesus Created You: When opposed to the conditional love that is regularly demonstrated, it might be challenging to accept God's unwavering love for you. But you were made by God. He created you and gave you your identity.
- Jesus Owns You: Everything belongs to God. That also applies to you: your life, body, and thoughts. He redeemed you even as a sinner. He restored you because He paid the price with His life.
- Jesus Bought You: You were purchased with the priceless blood of Jesus and adopted as His own. He restored and rescued you. Therefore, He has a right to define your identity.
Want to know more about your true identity in Christ? Click here.