In Genesis 3, we find that satan, using three little sentences, and a total of 45 words (NKJV), accomplished the biggest identity theft in history. Not only did he warp our view of God (see previous post), he also stole our worth – our very identity as God’s image-bearers and companions.
He told Adam and Eve that God was keeping something from them because they were different – implying that they were less, were lacking, were unworthy.
And they believed him, and gave up their true identity in exchange for his lie.
And Adam and Eve were so ashamed to be without that identity that they tried making themselves a covering. This didn’t work, so they then hid from God.
And so do we.
Without that communion with God that Adam lost in the Garden, we no longer know who we are, because we no longer see the image we were created to mirror.
So we go to great lengths to find or create an identity for ourselves.
We get a college degree, or two or three.
We seek identity by following a music star, an actor, a sports team.
We wear clothes with certain labels, and avoid certain other brands.
We try to create an identity at work, at church, in the community – we want to be known for our benevolence or our commitment or our energy.
Or we seek to find our identity in our car or our home – we have the newest, flashiest car, or the nicest lawn in the entire neighborhood.
Just about every war, every evil that one group has perpetrated against another group, every taunt and jeer on the playground, every gang or secret club created, has its roots in satan’s theft of humanity’s identity, and our attempts to create a new one.
Sometimes we do meet God, that image we are to reflect. But, all too often, we accept a warped view of Him as the true image, so it doesn’t work, and we are still uncomfortable, unhappy.
So, yet again, we try to create our own – we volunteer for more serving, take more classes, do more outreach – anything to feel that we have value and purpose.
Because that’s the bottom line – the real consequence of losing our true identity – we feel worthless. And that feeling doesn’t just disappear with salvation. The lie is too embedded in us.
So we find more chains to wrap ourselves in (like Marley’s ghost) in an effort to create an identity that feels valuable. “I’m a Sunday School teacher, an usher, a deacon.” “I work with the homeless, unwed mothers, addicts.” “I volunteer at the hospital, the orphanage, the church office.”
Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum.
And all so unnecessary! Because God thinks you are so valuable that He chose you to be His child before He even created this universe, this planet!
Jesus believes you are so valuable, so worth it, that He came here to live in a human body, died an extremely painful death, carrying everything that kept you from God on his shoulders, and rose again to set you free of it all!
Holy Spirit finds you so worthwhile that He never stops teaching you Truth, never stops seeking to show you who God really is, and who He created you to really be.
You have an identity in Christ! You are a child of God, a crucial part of Jesus Christ’s body.
You are infinitely valuable to God! Not for what you can do, but for who you are – a unique person, who can know and love Him like no one else can.
May you see your true identity in God, as Holy Spirit reveals it to you.
May you understand how worthy and valuable you are to Him.
And may you be set free of everything that keeps you from living who you really are.