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By: Jeanetta Anderson

I have been stolen from five times in my life. Once, my wallet was taken from my shopping cart. Another time, money was stolen from my room while I was working as a camp counselor. A third time, a customer stole money from me at work. The final two times, while living abroad, our home and car were robbed and vandalized. As hard as it is to have material things stolen, having your identity stolen is worse. You have to go through the process of proving who you are AGAIN.

Our identity is important because it defines who we are in relation to the world around us. Defining our identity is crucial to both physical and spiritual growth and success. Jesus knew this. In Matthew chapter 16 He asked his disciples, “Who do men say I am?” They replied that some thought He was John the Baptist or one of the great prophets. He continued, “But who do you say I am?” Simon replied, “You are Christ, Son of the Living God.” Jesus then spoke Simon’s identity into him. “That is true Simon! And now that you know the truth of who I am, I am going to tell you the truth about who you are. Simon the Listener, I rename you, Peter the Rock, and upon this rock I will build my church.” What a powerful moment that must have been for Peter!

Who am I? is an identity question we begin asking ourselves fairly early in life. From a young age, our identity is forged through a progression of developmental stages that prepare us to face adulthood with anticipation and confidence. By the time we enter adulthood, we should have formed a strong sense of personal identity. Instead, we often struggle with defining our identity well into our adult years, wrestling to ‘find ourselves’. The reason for this is because we let ‘Identity Imposters’ define our identity by allowing cultural, social, and relational messages of “I will never measure up; I am not pretty/smart/funny enough,” to influence the formation of our identity. These Identity Imposters speak untruths to us about who we are.

The truth is, our identity should not be formed by looking around us, but rather by looking upward and inward. When Jesus asked His disciples who people thought He was, He was teaching them that what society thinks and says about you is not truth. What God says about you is truth. He, your Creator, is the only one who has the authority to speak to your identity.

The key to defining your identity is embracing who Jesus is, and who He says you are.

Are you allowing Identity Imposters society throws at you to define your identity? Are you still asking the question, “Who am I?.” If so, renew your mind by embracing the truth of who God’s word says you are. Use that truth to make an identity statement that you proclaim out loud to yourself and live by daily.

 

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