Identity, what does it mean? The dictionary says:
1. The fact of being who or what a person or thing is
2. A close similarity or affinity (to someone or something)
Where do you get your identity from? Perhaps you’ve struggled to know who you are? Blending cultures and beliefs and trying to fit in?
The words we hear about
us start to form our identity
We get our sense of identity from the people and culture around us. As a child we believe what people say about us, words have power. The words we hear about us start to form our identity. But what if your upbringing wasn’t perfect and you heard negative words describing you? What if you’ve spent years in an abusive relationship and your sense of identity has been shattered?
Join the panel in this episode of Let’s Get Real as they share the many ways their upbringing formed their initial identity but how it changed when God stepped into their lives.
What does the Bible say about identity?
Genesis 1:26 says ‘Let us make mankind in our image’. As Christians when we realize who we belong to it changes everything. We belong to and are made in God our Father’s image. Our identity is that we are a son or daughter of the Most High God, wow!
Cece recognized her identity changed from a performance-based life as a result of abuse “If I do this, I’ll get this” to knowing God loves her and “You are beautiful and you are my daughter.” She no longer has to perform to be loved and has written a book to help others – 21 Insights for Authentic Living.
If you don’t know that you’re loved, how can you love? “For God so LOVED the world He sent His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not die but be saved.” (John 3:16)
Do we accept the words spoken
over us as our identity?
Chris found growing up adopted that she lacked identity and in order to fit in she adapted her ‘identity ’to whatever everybody else wanted her to be. She believed and took on the words spoken over her from a young age, “What words we say over people if we don’t know who we are if we’re not confident in who we are. And let’s face it who is fully confident in who they are? What words are spoken over us we put on ourselves as identity”.
However, hearing from God changed her life, God spoke to her, told her he would restore every area of her life and He did. She now runs a ministry with her husband called ‘Restoration House’ restoring others, helping them to know their true identity.
Get your identity from God’s Word!
You have to replace the negatives with God’s Word about who you are and the Bible is full of them.
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)
He knew you before you were born and your existence matters.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1: 5).
Indeed the very hairs of your head are numbered.
“Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)
God cares about the details.
Growing up in an abusive or fatherless home can mean you don’t know what it’s like to have a loving, safe father figure to identify with. So, trying to get your identity from our Heavenly Father can be difficult.
Knowing you belong to our Heavenly Daddy changes your sense of identity forever.
For years Ali struggled to feel loved until she had a breakthrough, “When we know that God is our Daddy our lives are transformed,” she says.
Also, Rev Matthew Porter joins the show to talk about his work as Vicar of The Belfrey Church in York, helping people to grow in their relationship with Jesus and be transformed. He has written a book ‘The A-Z of Discipleship’ published by Authentic Media aimed at helping new believers. He asks “What does it mean to follow Jesus, to live this life that’s good for us and transforms the world, that’s what discipleships about”.
This article was written by Deborah Armin