Out of all the billions of people scattered across the world, there’s no one else with your exact fingerprint. You can search the world for a clone, but you’ll never find someone just like you, inside or out. Every day, everywhere, people ask, Who am I? Is it what we do? Is it who we know? Is it how we do things? The person whom we perceive ourselves to be will affect the way we carry ourselves, the way we treat ourselves, our behavior and our choices, which means it’s extremely important to know our identity! But what defines who we are? If the world is a dictionary, then there are a zillion different definitions by our names, cluttered by labels, associations, achievements and events. There are plenty of places to look for our identity—but where will we find it? Our search could include:
- Our activities, our performance and our position
- The approval of others
- Our past and our shortcomings
Let’s take a step back and evaluate what has become of our search. Each place we’ve looked is shallow and temporal. If we choose to be defined by what we do, we risk losing the very thing by which we have chosen to identify ourselves. If we choose approval, then we give up our individuality and leave our perception of ourselves at the mercy (or cruelty) of others. Choose our past and our shortcomings, and we choose hopelessness, guilt and a lifestyle of perpetual defeat. Every one of these identity sources ends in a crisis, because every one is built on sand.
Perhaps we’ve been asking the wrong question: It’s not what can define us, but rather who. Who has the authority and the right to endow us with our true identity—the unchangeable and absolute truth about who we are? God does. The One who made us in the first place. Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.” Don’t you think that the artist who created us should be allowed to tell us who we are? He called His creations (us!) good (Genesis 1:31). Even when our hearts turned from Him, even before we called upon Him to save us, Christ gave His life for us (Romans 5:8). He did it because we’re worth it. God sees us as we truly are—precious enough to die for.
Who we are just gets better and better because of Jesus in us. With the Holy Spirit living in us, we are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). We are forgiven, and our sins are forgotten (Psalm 103:12). We are daughters of the King of kings—we’re royalty, really (1 Peter 2:9). We are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). The list goes on. Our spiritual and emotional and mental health depends on our confidence in our true identity—our identity in Christ. Read it for yourself in God’s Word. It will change who you are.
For more devotional readings that will leave you feeling closer to Jesus every day, pick up a copy of Marjorie Jackson’s new coloring devotional, Devoted: A Girl’s 31-Day Guide to Good Living with a Great God.