by Barb Fox
I sat at a table with five strangers. The workshop leader provided instructions: “Tell us about yourself, including your current job responsibilities.”
My heart pounded as I searched for an answer.
A combination of changes in personnel and priorities had decommissioned my prior work responsibilities. Each phrase I turned over in my head came out sounding like “I am unimportant” or “I am a has-been.”
None of these would contribute to making a good first impression, so I tried to find a way to put a good spin on a less than optimal situation.
When people ask about who we are, we share our roles: stay-at-home mom, small business owner, research scientist, high school teacher, small group leader.
Then they look at our demeanor: confident, depressed, fearful, joyful.
And the combination is used to make an initial categorization: successful, needy, helpful, important, irrelevant.
We may be tempted to accept these external judgments as identities, but they aren’t. They are merely temporary labels based on circumstances that change over time.
I took another deep breath and reminded myself that my true identity remained rock solid even if those sitting around the table decided to categorize me as irrelevant.
Thankfully, the Bible contains many hints about identity, and every single one provides reassurance and renewed hope.The Bible contains many hints about identity, and every single one provides reassurance and renewed hope.
6 Biblical Truths About Your Identity in Christ
These six truths can help women experiencing an identity crisis find their identity in Christ and stop believing lies about themselves.
1. You are Accepted in Christ
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love, he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17 NIV
We want to be part of a team. We want to be accepted.
Cliques and popularity come and go with the seasons. God, on the other hand, provides steady favor.
I am not a burden or a bother to God. He reaches out to save me. And then He celebrates our intimate relationship.
Isn’t it wonderful to be accepted by the best of the best? To know that He takes great delight in you and that He rejoices over you with singing?God always wants me. He always seeks me out. When I join my heart and hands to His work, it always brings Him joy.
2. You are Worthy in Christ
“For we are God’s masterpiece.” – Ephesians 2:10a NLT
Our identity improves when we feel valued. Yet, the world’s measuring stick often involves external circumstances beyond our control. For example, a debilitating illness may reduce our value in the workplace, or a rebellious child may make us feel unworthy.
Fortunately, the Bible states that our true worth comes directly from God and is not dependent on our circumstances.
In 2010 Andy Fields bought paintings at a garage sale for five dollars. He later discovered one was an Andy Warhol sketch which an art appraiser valued at two million dollars.
What changed the value from five dollars to two million dollars? Knowing that a famous artist created it.
Mr. Fields stated that he would turn down any offers to sell it. What changed its value from two million dollars to priceless? The value placed on it by its owner.
You and I are masterpieces, designed by God himself. This gives us extremely high worth.
Not only did God make us, but we are His people (Ps 100:3). Jesus stated in John 10:27-28 that we are so precious that He will not allow anyone to take us out of His hands.The most talented Artist in the universe created us, and He wants to hold on to us forever.
3. You are Important to Christ
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – I Corinthians 12:27 NIV
Many days we can wonder if we are important. But 1 Corinthians 12:27 teaches us that each member of Christ’s body (the Church) is important and valuable.
Even the lesser-known roles are among the most important ones because God values each person’s role (1 Cor 12:22-25).
We may not always feel like we are part of the inner circle. Yet God says each one of us is an essential part of the body of Christ – fundamental to the workings of the community of true believers.
The body is important and you are a part of the body, so you are important, too.
4. You are a Contributor to Christ’s Kingdom
“But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.” – James 1:25 HCSB
When we compare our gifts to others, we may slap on an identity of “less than” or “not as important as.” But look more closely at Paul’s reminder in James 1:25 and you’ll see that God values the good works you do in His name.
God designed us for specific good works (Eph 2:10). And no outside forces can stop us from accomplishing them because God has prepared them for us.
Identify the ways God has gifted you. Are you a prayer warrior who protects those in harm’s way? Have you been given discernment to help others recognize truth? Are you an encourager who bolsters others?
These are all contributions to God’s kingdom work, so they have inherent value and importance.
If we are faithful to seek the Lord and follow His guidance, He will lead us toward special good works designed specifically for us. We are useful to God’s kingdom.
5. View Your Failures in Light of Christ’s Victory
“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin.” – Romans 6:6 HCSB
When I allow my emotions or self-centered thoughts to direct me, I see a big “L for Loser” stamped across my forehead. But that is a false identity.
Instead, we are winners because Christ has defeated death and the devil for us.
6. You are an Overcomer in Christ
“Because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.” – I John 5:4 HCSB
Even though we stumble, we will not stay down. We are more than overcomers in God’s power (Rm 8:37).
Realize that only those who struggle with a problem or difficulty can be overcomers. The verse above mentions victory, and victories only happen at the end of battles.
When we fall short, God always helps us overcome. He empowers us to win our victories for His glory.Failures do not define our identity because we are no longer slaves to our impulses or the world’s influences.
Our New Identity in Christ
“And I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 HCSB
Sitting around that workshop table, I thought about embellishing the truth and painting a deceptive picture of my current work situation. But God reminded me of my true identity, so I switched gears.
Even though I couldn’t describe my current job responsibilities, I confidently shared a snippet of the identity God shared with me. I am gifted at helping others reach their potential.
Look around and see what labels have been slapped on you by the world. These are not your identity.
Instead, look in the Bible and find the everlasting truths that declare who you are in Christ.
Then smile ear-to-ear because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 Jn 4:4).
– Barb Fox
Research scientist and teacher by vocation, Barb enjoys digging into the Word and sharing her discoveries with others. She and her husband have an empty nest but full hearts. After years of striving to be more and do more, she is learning to slow down and find contentment in the here and now. She invites you to subscribe to her blog where she challenges readers to live fully, love fiercely, and learn faithfully. You can also connect with her via Facebook and Twitter.