Who are you?
The list goes on and on. And many in our culture point to these external traits as those that define you. A Google search reveals over 300 million articles on identity. Of the articles I read, they point to cultural, societal, familial, political, regional, and other influences which define your identity.
There might be more to our identity than external forces and definitions.
Years ago, the first CSI program burst onto the television screen with the theme song “Who Are You?” One of the lines was, “I really want to know.” The whole premise of the show was to solve the mystery of the deceased within 60 minutes. They looked at identifying the person, their job, history, and connections. Totally unrealistic to uncover all this information in the allotted time frame, yet we found it captivating. But did we discover that person’s true identity?
What if identity has more to do with your internal estimation and intrinsic value?
Throughout life, my names have more to do with my role–daughter, sister, wife, cousin, mom, aunt, and grandmother–than who I am. My given name hints at who my parents desired I become—a follower of God. And in that, I think we’re getting closer to the true meaning of identity.
Merriam-Webster defines identity as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” Nothing to do with roles.
Using that lens, when you look in the mirror, who are you?
Characteristics involve our internal values and belief systems.
While culture and family influence these belief systems, we have God-given ones. God says he created you and me according to his will and purpose. We aren’t an afterthought.
Throughout the Bible, we read God says you are:
- A royal priesthood
- Loved by God
- Called by name
- His masterpiece
- Evaluated by your heart
Just to list a few. Download this free worksheet to explore who God says you are. When you read the above statements and those on this worksheet, how do they change your internal dialogue?
Our identity influences our actions.
We think and often act out of how we view ourselves. For many years, I believed I was painfully shy. People told me I was, so I acted that way. While I’ll never be the life of the party, I discovered I wasn’t necessarily shy. I prefer to listen to others in a group setting until I feel comfortable to enter the conversation. Rather than identify with shyness (I am shy), it is a way I approach unknown situations (observe first). I find I prefer talking with people one-on-one rather than in larger groups. As a coach, that comes in handy.
Understanding that I am not shy (an identity statement) helps me interact with others in my preferred style. Listen to how you talk about yourself. What “I am” phrases do you use? Could these phrases be learned responses or true identity statements?
|I am worthless||
God calls me his masterpiece
|I am a diabetic||
I have diabetes
|I am stupid||
I love to learn
|I am unseen||
God sees me
Learning your true identity allows you to change your thoughts and behaviors to coincide with God’s view of you.
Take 30 minutes today to write out everything you believe about yourself. Use your journal or an online document. Don’t worry about anyone reading it. This exercise is just for you. How many of those statements use “I am” in a negative connotation?
Challenge: Flip those negative statements to the positive based on the verses in the “Who Does God Say I Am?” worksheet you downloaded. Here’s the link again.
Your true identity rests in God.
Let’s commit to changing our mindset and negative self-talk to allow God to do his redemptive work in us. Need some help? Let’s talk. We’ll grow together.