The Futility of Identity

I’ve become convinced that “finding your identity” is an exercise in idolatry. Identity is static and stagnant. It tends to serve the purpose of what we want others to see. Being “something” is less than becoming someone which is at the heart of our redemption. We are not identity; we are story. We change and grow. We are in the midst of the “already not yet.” We transform. Oh, some day when our Heavenly Father hands us that white stone and bends down to whisper that new name in our ear, then we’ll have our identity but it will be at the end of our stories. We get inklings of it now as His Spirit moves us through sanctification from wrath to righteousness. We’ll recognize our new name, therefore, and say “I knew it!” We will have become the culmination of all the vignettes that have created us, the fruition of all the events that God will have used to form us into that image, the image of His Son. Until then, we wait, we groan (Romans 8:22,23), along with the rest of creation. We are becoming more of who God designed us to be, more fully human, more robustly gendered, more completely like Jesus. Our stories will do that to us. This is why we can rejoice in our sufferings (Romans 5:3-5) as it produces the ability to wait upon Him in the process (endurance) whose likeness it creates in us (character) for hope’s sake, that future identity (which obliterates shame). Those echoes of future redemption keep us tethered to our “I am” that someday we will be like him (identity) when we see Him face to face. His identity gives us hope. Our union with Him gives us faith (I have been crucified with Christ). Our union with Him gives us movement (purpose) to live as opposed to finding ourselves, our identity, outside of that union.

Published by

Jim Pocta

Psychotherapist/Biblical Counselor in Dallas. I’m a follower of Jesus, husband to Linda, father to three wonderful sons, father-in-law to three incredible daughters-in-law, grandfather to three amazing grandsons and granddaughter, and an elder at New St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church.

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