We’ve read and heard a lot about identity the last few years. Along with many other possibilities, people discuss racial identity, gender identity, and identity politics. Earlier this week I read that dictionary.com named identity their Word of the Year for 2015.
It also seems like I hear and read a lot about people who experience what is called an identity crisis. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an identity crisis, and hope I never do. I’ve seen enough TV shows and movies to know amnesia would be awfully frightening. I also have been around enough people with Alzheimer’s to pray that the Lord protects me from it.
So who am I? I know a variety of factors contribute to my identity; and I’m fairly certain it’s the same for you. Three big aspects of my identity right now include being a grandpa, a high school Bible teacher, and a pastor to senior adults. But I’m also a racquetball player and a golfer (but not really that good in either sport). In terms of a lot of current discussion I am white, male, and politically none of your business.
I am also a husband, father, brother, friend, citizen of the USA, Ohio State University and Dallas Cowboy football fan, dog owner, neighbor, and resident of Texas. I could go on, but I think you get the point. I am a lot of different things to different people. But who am I to me? Is there something that is basic and at the core of who I am? Is there anything that is most important in terms of my identity?
Challenged by some things I have recently read and heard, I’ve been thinking lately about my identity. I hope it won’t surprise readers who know me to read that I think the foundation of my identity is in two areas: I am a child of God and I am a follower of Jesus.
In a very real sense, every human being is a child of God because the Bible teaches that every person is created in the image of God. Some may not accept that, and many do not act like it, but I believe it is true. While every human being is a child of God, not everyone is a follower of Jesus. Being a Christian is a choice one makes for herself or himself.
As we go through life some aspects of our identity change. Some readers probably remember going from being a teenager to an adult; or from a student to an employee; or from being single to being married; or to becoming a parent. One of the greatest adjustments of my identity took place almost three years ago when I stepped down as senior pastor of the church I served for 30 years. As challenging as it was, I didn’t see it as an identity crisis.
I’m fulfilled and enjoying who I am at this stage of my life. And I know more changes lie ahead for me. But what will not change is that I am a child of God and a follower of Jesus.
Who are you?
Feel free to leave a reply below and/or share this post on Facebook or other social media.
Photo by Warren Wong on Upsplash
LikeLiked by 1 person
I too, am a child of God, and a follower of Jesus. My identity in him drives my life, my perspectives, my everything.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Funny how God’s timing is always good.
Last week while in Ohio, we stopped in Medina. Sandy my Mom and I went in to see my old boss from my Honda shop days in Newark, They just building a really nice 4800 square foot house to retire in. He is still working at 73. We went out to lunch and when we were about finished eating , I suddenly had to use the restroom. I run in there and thought something was wrong but went into a stall. Sandy came in after me and said” Phil, you idiot! Your in the women’s restroom! I told her I thought it was weird that there were no urinals? When I went back out and sat down I told everyone I was sorry, I just had a gender identity crisis. Everyone got a kick out of that.
I print out your blog so Sandy can read it, We enjoy and appreciate every one.