Losing and Finding Our Identity
Article by Steven Lester
We have lost our identity. A casual inspection of sitcom, song and movie plots have an overwhelming theme: finding one’s identity. The movement of becoming who you really are is epidemic. Gender transitions, racial pride, and coming out of the closets are all idolized and sainted by the culture via social platforms and mainstream media. There is a vogueness of the times to break away from social constructs, hence the dominant social forces of feminism and Critical Race Theory. Even in Christian circles a major message is trying to find out who one is in Christ. To be sure, the emphasis most of the time is “finding out who we are." The de-emphasis is the phrase, “in Christ”. All of this noise can be boiled down to this premise: an effort to find our identity.
As one seeks for truth about their identity I cannot help but see the same conclusion reached time after time. That is a subjective truth. The buzz word is: it’s my truth or it’s your truth. Yes, the search for objective truth by a pagan culture will always default to subjectivism. Subjective truth is almost like the default for fallen man. A subjective truth is knowing what is good and evil in one’s eyes, from one’s own perspective.
I think the reason for this lies in the fact that when one takes a hard look at themselves, in trying to find identity, an amazing thing happens. A person’s conscience, or what is left of it in some people’s cases, obliges the request. A person then get the whiff of an awful truth. The kind of truth that layers of egocentric culture, denial, repression, avoidance and concealing. Here it is, ready? That people do not measure up. Humans are lacking. They are weighed in the cosmic balance and are found wanting. A person’s identity is that they are not enough.
The conscience will enlighten to that fact, in part. The Holy Spirit will reveal that fact brutally. In the book of Philippians, Paul’s pre-conversion identity was placed in his race, his social standing, his learning, and his work. Yet, when faced with the truth he said it is all crap (Philippians 3:1-8). One cannot find a peace of mind in a complicated and fabricated life built on the premise of trying to be enough. The truth is brute in that standing before a HOLY God no one is enough.
You cannot be enough and satisfy the truth by changing race, gender, or sexual orientation. You cannot be enough by singing about how you are enough in God and not confronting the truth about your sin. Only when there is the reality and acceptance that men are terrible, fallen rebels who stand in need and in judgment of God then can there be hope. Then, one looks out of themselves, past themselves, and over their lusts unto Christ. Everyone that looks upon Him will not be put to shame. It is in Him (through God’s redemption in Christ) that we are enough. Paul found this out when he said, “the life I now live I live by faith in the son of God” (Galatians 2:20). He wanted to be “found in Him”. He wanted to forget everything he thought made him enough and formed his identity. He wanted to be identified in Christ.
Pastor of Crossroads Church