A Case of Mistaken Identity 

 In Jason Bunger

Perhaps nothing is more frustrating than witnessing someone’s identity being unclear, mistaken or even stolen.  

This has led to innocent people being convicted and losing years of his/her life proving they are not the person who others say that they are.  Others have had accounts hacked and false profiles being made.  Middle schools are filled with students figuring out who they are, while surrounded by a group of equally confused peers trying to figure out who they are. 

Mistaken identities are even found by people sincerely trying to figure out who they are.  The mistakes in our identity come from the lack of understanding the source of our identity.  

  1. If you try to get your identity from your career, you can be crushed when the market changes, recession happens or what you have devoted your life to do is no longer important or has become obsolete. 
  2. If you try get your identity from the things you own, you will find that nearly everything we purchase depreciates, likewise so does our identity. 
  3. If you try to get your identity from “your tribe” (however you define that), you will begin to look down on people that are not part of your tribe.   
  4. If you try get your identity from a significant other, you will run into at least two challenges:  First, you are trying to get your identity from someone who has not even figured out his/her own identity. If they change how they identify themselves, it will impact how you identify yourself.  Secondly, if you get your identify from being with someone else, you are giving them the power to uplift, define and even crush you. 
  5. If you try to create your own identity, that is equally riddled with challenges.  In contemporary society, this is by far the most celebrated from of determining identity.  We can often overestimate how good we are.  Likewise, we can significantly underestimate how bad we are.  Paul Tripp writes that no one deceives us as much as we deceive ourselves.  We consistently tell ourselves things about ourselves that simply are not true.  Then, we expect others to affirm the lies that we have told ourselves in order to validate our self-given identity. 

May I submit to you that each of us can only be secure and know ourselves when our identity come from God.  God is the only one who is able to give us our true identity because: 1.) He created us.  2.)  He never changes.  Therefore, our identity is secure.  3.) He is eternally in control.  Circumstances will never change that will result in God not being the eternal ruler of the universe.  

So, who does God say that you are?  You are someone who, although imperfect, is made in God’s image.  You are someone who, like every other person in the history of the world, is deeply impacted by sin and sinful yourself.  You are someone who is still loved despite your sin so much that God the Father arranged for His only son to die in your place in order that you may be redeemed and live with God forever.  Or as Tim Keller would say, ““You are more wicked than ever dared believe and yet, you are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than you ever dared hope.”

We are deeply flawed, and at the same time, deeply loved by God. 




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