Discovering my true identity
Today I went to the “Girlfriends Morning Together” retreat at Woodbury Lutheran Church. One of the presentations I attended and really liked was on discovering our true identity. It got me think about what my true identity is.
“Who am I?”
“Who are you?”
When we hear this kind of question, our first thought usually is: “I am Qin Tang (or any name),” “I am a mom,” “I am a librarian,” “I am a writer,” etc.
Do these answers describe my true identity?
First let’s find out what the word “identity” mean.
The Webster Dictionary defines identity as:
- sameness of essential or generic character in different instances; sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing
- the distinguishing character or personality of an individual
Based on this definition, my name, my relational title or my job title do not really describe what my true identity is.
A person’s name can change. My current name is different than what’s on my birth certificate, because I changed my name when I started school. Many women in the western cultures change their names after marriage. We can change our names for no reason.
A person’s relational title can change due to the changes in life circumstances. I only became a mom after my son was born 12 years ago. Life circumstances can change suddenly and unexpectedly. We can not hang our identity on life circumstances.
A person’s job title can change any time. We find jobs, change jobs, lose jobs, find new jobs so often, they do not stay the same.
So if my name, my relational title or my job title cannot really describe who I am, then what is that sameness, the oneness that does not change for me from birth to death that can describe what my true identity is?
My true identity can be found in Jesus Christ:
- I am made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
- I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)
- I am a child of God. God is my spiritual Father (John 1:12)
- I am a friend of Jesus Christ (John 15:15)
- I am blessed coming in and blessed going out (Deuteronomy 28:12)
- I am God’s workmanship to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)
- I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
- I am the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16)
- I am the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)
- I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
- I am an Heir of God and a Joint heir of Jesus (Romans 8:17)
- I am being transformed by a renewed mind (Romans 12:1, 2)
- I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
In summary, I am not who I say I am. I am not who others say I am. I am what God said I am. I can do what God said I can do. I can be what God want me to be.
To live an effective life, a life of significance, we need to know our true identity.