Identity is everything. Identity changes who you are and how you see yourself. So how do you view yourself? Who makes up your identity? Do you say who you are, or are you defined by things or different titles?
I am in the ongoing process of changed titles. Over the last 2 years I have changed titles from bank teller to youth ministry intern, and now to youth minister. I also have had a change in titles from single to dating to engaged. It is an exciting time but it is one that should not affect my identity. As many of you know I am now happily engaged and will soon change Annie Scheffe’s name to Annie Corser. Even though her title changes, her identity does not. Now before you began saying that her identity changes let me explain my point. Yes on her Oklahoma State issued drivers license and all other state legal documents her title has changed, but her God given identity has not.
As I listened to a podcast by Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church he explained that God gives us our identity, and that our identity is not made up of stuff, titles, achievements, or anything else for that matter. In Genesis 3, God makes man and woman in His image, so we share in attributes of God HImself, no we are not God but we resemble Him in appearance. That means that no title, characteristic, achievement can affect or change our identity as being made in God’s image.
He made a point that we cannot seek to create our identity in titles, achievements or life circumstances because those change frequently, as the winds blow from different directions each second. This got me to thinking about how I find my identity, how I introduce myself, and how I conduct myself, and the things I do.
Like I said before I have recently become a youth pastor. It is new territory for me and to say that the transition has had obstacles would be a drastic understatement. It has been and will continue to be a blessing as I lead the students at Sooner Baptist Church. But, I cannot make my identity as “Youth Pastor of Sooner Baptist” because that will change someday. The one thing that will never change is my identity in Christ; that God made me in His likeness. It was nothing I earned or achieved but that it was freely given.
Next, I thought about how I am anxiously awaiting the change of title to husband, and father. But once again my IDENTITY CANNOT REST IN THAT EXTERNAL TITLE, It must rest in the fact that not only was I made in God’s likeness but that He sent His son Jesus to the world to live a perfect life, bear my sin, die on a cross to save that sin.
I can anticipate marriage with hope and longing, but I must also remember that I have already been married to Jesus, that He did all the work for me to have the Identity that I have. He walked down the aisle by coming to earth to save me, He removed the separation between me and God, and HE FOREVER CHANGED MY IDENTITY, He loved me in such a way that my accomplishments mean nothing, my titles mean nothing, That MY SIN MEANS NOTHING. He came and died and with His sacrifice He removed the wall of Hostility and reconciled my relationship with His father. That is my Identity, and no matter what comes, what titles are changed, what failures I have, and what accomplishments I achieve that my identity remains the same: 1) Made in God’s image, and 2) Saved, by Grace.
That’s my identity. Sometimes I forget and need a reminder, but God is gentle in His reminders, always loving me the same, with an everlasting love.