Yesterday, a precious little man entered our lives. His name harks back generations, echoing his forebearers. Yet he brings new identity to his name. Although he carries physical traits of his parents, grandparents, and beyond, he is unique, formed by Creator God in His likeness to fulfill plans and purposes designed specifically for him. We rejoice in the birth and life of this beautiful child.
People have many ways of identifying themselves. For some, identity comes through familial or faith ties. For others, identity comes from what they do, their work, achievements, and accolades. Still others are searching for identity, grasping for self-worth through connection to another person or affiliation with a group.
Following are places many look to attach their identity:
If you do a search for “identity,” the first hits are for ways to protect your personal identity. In today’s world, when identity is mentioned, it’s often in regard to shielding your personal information from theft or fraud. Also high on the list of results for the word “identity” are ways to search for family members. Most people are curious about their heritage and want to find out more about those in their family tree. But identity is more than ancestry and credit.
The focus of many is amassing possessions and stockpiling assets. The greater the bank account and investment balances, the more secure they feel. But identity gained by wealth can vanish with a plummeting stock market, crafty thief, or unwise decision. Searching for identity through materialism does nothing to feed the soul or cement meaningful relationships.
Those searching for identity through fame often find it fleeting. Fame lasts only as long as the favor of fickle fandom remains in place or until rumors or unfounded accusations fueled by “investigative” reporting prevail. For so many, searching for identity in fame leads to frustration and defeat, and for those who experience fame, it often wanes as quickly as it reached supernova.
Some people find their identity in their circle of friends or professional associates. While there is nothing wrong with these relationships, when you place your identity totally with others, you run the risk of conforming to expectations or pressures and losing your unique identity. Have you conformed to ideas and expectations that feel somewhat unsettling and outside your core beliefs? If so, re-evaluate and reconnect with your personal beliefs and then decide if you need to make new connections that more closely align with who you are.
Have you ever met someone who identifies totally by profession? Work takes up much of our lives, but when work is our sole source of identity, wholeness is skewed. In taking time for creative pursuits, time spent in nature, and the fostering of relationships, you build a more balanced life and identity.
Many gain identity through activities. As long as they are doing, they gain a feeling of self-worth. But for those who spend countless hours doing, relationships often suffer. Do they take time to listen to and interact with family and friends? Are they so disciplined by and attached to activities that they fail to place priority on relationships? Avoid letting what you do overshadow who you were created to be.
In today’s world, people of faith are often criticized and pressured into adjusting their beliefs to fit changing social norms. However, faith is the foundation that stands firm through challenging situations and allows you to maintain forward motion. Faith remains solid and strong through seasons of change, difficulty, grief, and hardship, so anchor deeply to faith and don’t be swayed by the storms of life or the opinions of others.
Where do you find your identity?
“I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” Jeremiah 1:5 TLB
Faith remains solid and strong through seasons of change, difficulty, grief, and hardship.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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