By James Losey
Our culture is facing an identity crisis. We have lost our true identity and have replaced it with a broken image…an idol. We put our identity in sex, money, alcohol, drugs, boyfriends, girlfriends, sports, gender, food, and our work...The list goes on. It’s not that all of these are inherently bad, but when we twist them and make them our identity, we create a false idol, a God to replace the void in our broken, sinful, hearts.
When we fill that void with idols and make them our identity, we miss out on the full experience of freedom in Christ, we make our life miserable, because nothing will leave us truly satisfied in the end.
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." - Matthew 6:24
We can't serve two masters; we can't put our identity in both. Christ will be the Lord of our Life and our true identity, or He will be nothing to us. Never both.
In the beginning we were created in the image of God, but when mankind rebelled, we rebelled against a holy and just God, our sin tarnished that image, like a broken mere. Since then, all human history has been nothing but mankind destroying the image of God, dethroning God and replacing Him with idols. This doesn't lead to freedom, but places us under the bondage of our false idols and our false identity.
The problem with putting our identity in our idols is that they never truly satisfy us. They fail us every time:
When we feel alone and in need for love; we turn to sex and end up lonely.
When we spend money we don't have, it leaves us wanting more stuff.
When we get buzzed or high, we end up craving for the next buzz or high.
When our spouse doesn't live up to our desired expectations, we feel alone.
When we are stressed and turn to food for comfort, we are left with guilt and shame.
When we use the gifts the Lord has given us to puff ourselves up, instead of bragging
on the one true God, we rob God of His glory.
Putting our identity in all these things and idolizing them above the Lord goes beyond what God has created and designed for us to enjoy. They are not meant to be more satisfying in themselves above Christ, but used to bring God glory. As Christians our number one priority should be God's glory.
But there is hope. Even though we deserve God's wrath, He has provided a way through His Son, Jesus Christ.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galatians 2:10
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." - 2 Corinthians 5:17
God has reconciled all things back to Himself through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of what Christ has done, Christ now lives in us and our life is now hidden in Him. Because of Christ we are a new creation, the old has passed away. Christ restores our broken image and transforms us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, the spotless lamb. Our identity is now in Christ alone.
Question is: What do you put your identity in? Do you live as if you are a new creation in Christ?