“God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. ” (Genesis 1:27)
Identity is one of the most important issues of our lives. The search for identity is one of those things that are “hard-wired” within us. The struggle for identity is universal among human beings. Coming to a conclusion, about who we are, is fundamental to how we will pursue life – and how our days will be defined.
When it comes to our identity, if we turn to Psychology for answers, we get things like this: “Our identity should be seen as an ongoing process. Rather than a static snapshot, we should embrace a flowing sense of self, whereby we are perpetually re-framing, re-organizing, re-thinking and re-considering ourselves.”1
In other words, there is no such thing as a set identity for our lives, we just need to learn to “go with the flow” – wherever it leads us. The problem with this is that it doesn’t really answer the question of “Who am I?” – it just renders the question irrelevant. It is based on a conclusion that says: “We cannot know our identity… but it doesn’t really matter… and we have been wrong to think that it does matter.”
This prevalent philosophy is being broadly perpetuated in our current societal structures. It has led us from a simple thing like “gender identity” (male or female) and made it into a chaotic mess of unlimited confusion (I have even heard that Facebook offers over 60 different gender identity options!). This is exactly where a “flowing sense of self” leads us.
We are no better with an evolutionary solution to “Who am I?” The answer to that question is a resolute… “You are nothing special. You are just physical matter who has evolved into a thinking, acting being.” While thinking and acting are wonderful, the final summation is that: “you live and you die and your life is no more vital than any other physical thing in the universe.” You are simply matter… and matter doesn’t matter (at least in the overall scheme of things).
This is the problem… for two generations, now, we have been teaching our children that evolution is fact – and so are evolution’s conclusions. But if evolution is true, why do we still struggle so greatly with our need for identity. If it doesn’t matter, why does it seem to matter so much to us? Beginning with a foundation of “I am nothing,” gives us no hope, no purpose, no reason. It makes our lives themselves irrelevant – at least for anything more than what we can get out of life.
Christianity is different. It begins with a foundational understanding. You and I (and every human that has ever lived) are created by God, in His image. Our identity is established by our Creator, Who not only created us but Who has told us that He loves us and has a purpose for each of our lives. Our purpose begins with who we are (specially created beings) and flows out of our identity (as God’s Own idea). We are made by God, for His purposes – and our identity comes from God’s purpose for us.
Only the Bible can answer the question of “Who am I?” with certainty, dignity, and affirmation. We are not random accidents, we are not daily attempting to define our lives – we are created by our Creator, in His image, and for His purposes. We are endowed with an infinite and eternal identity that leads us to the best we can be.
1Mel Schwartz, L.C.S.W., Psychology Today, “Who Am I?” June 2, 2010