Nov 262017

Identity Crisis

Who am I?  People at some point of their lives will ask themselves this question.  The search for identity has always been instrumental in defining oneself in life.  It usually starts when a person reaches adolescence and by the time he becomes an adult, he will have several roles which he interchanges throughout the day.  People often confuse the roles they play with their identity in the search because they spend so many hours in the day being that role that they think it’s their identity.

We can use the analogy of hats to represent the different roles people adopt.  For more than eight hours a day, they may wear the hat of their occupation and when they are home, they will put down that hat, and maybe put on the hat representing their identity at home perhaps as a parent, a spouse or a child.  We wear many hats during our lives, some we hold on more dearly than the rest.

Now is our Christian identity a hat we wear and take off at our convenience?  Perhaps only for church events and Sunday mornings, we will put on our Christian ‘hat’.  I hope that it is not the case.  The Christian is the man who wears many hats and no matter what hat he wears, he is still basically a Christian at the core of his being.  This is his identity.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31

How can we do all to the glory of God in all our different roles unless our motivation comes from our Christian identity first.  The Christian’s chief end is to glorify God.  So, no matter what roles we take in our lives, our starting point comes from our Christian identity because that is the most important aspect of our lives.  C.S. Lewis said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

So, do we put aside our Christian identity when we assume other roles; The roles that we sometimes mistaken for our identities, or can Christ be seen in all the roles we assume?  We can lose our jobs, retire, lose a loved one, etc. and then suddenly the roles or “identities” we hold so dear are taken away from us. For us, the only constant is our identity in Christ which will never be taken away once we have repented and accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21

Brothers and sisters in Christ, remember you are first a Christian, everything else is secondary to that fact.  And if your treasure is God in heaven and rightfully so, your motivation in life will direct you there through your actions.

Questions to ponder:

  1. Can Christ be seen in all the roles we assume or do you need to hide the fact that you are a Christian when you do those roles?
  2. Imagine if God takes away the activity that takes up most of your time, will you feel that you lose a sense of purpose or identity?

–  By Dn Freddie Tan