Note To Self: On Identity Crisis

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” I Samuel 7 vs. 45

Goliath labelled the Israelites “Servants of Saul” on purpose. Bear in mind, the last that was heard of Saul was of him being denounced by God (through the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 15 v. 28). When Goliath referred to them, not as "of Israel" (who’s strength remained - I Sam 15 vs. 29) but as “Servants of Saul”, he was imposing an identity of unworthiness - they were servants of one who was unworthy. None of them was good enough for anything. The identity Goliath imposed stuck. In reality, Goliath and the Philistine army posed no threat to the Israelites. Evidence of their strength is presented in the significant victory attained once David defeated Goliath.

David was a shepherd in the midst of Soldiers, yet he did not succumb to their fear. His courage came from 2 sources: First, a testimony of victories not in the battle field but in the wilderness. Secondly, he knew the almighty God would deliver him. Even, when others tried to label and shut him down (including Goliath), David reminded them of his God. David’s faith in God was justified.

The devil is master at manipulating identities. He promised Eve to be “like God” if she disobeyed, even though she was already like God. He asks Christ to perform magic as proof of being the son of God (which He already was). The Devil completely savages Job’s identity, the situation becomes so bad that Job is advised to curse God and die instead.

Today, the devil has even more tools at his disposal to create a global sense of insecurity and perpetuate an identity crisis ‘pandemic’ - especially with social media and the explosion of information online (these are not negatives in themselves). As if we didn’t all feel insecure enough being compared to our siblings, neighbors, friends and those just generally within our vicinity. It is now possible to ‘compare’ ourselves with just about anyone on social media - that is almost half of the world’s population. In theory, we can now measure ourselves against any of the estimated 3.5 billion others on social media. Inventors, Nobel laureates, sports stars, movie stars, CEOs etc. just search. And very often, we make these comparisons consciously or unconsciously - we make ourselves feel worse in the process.

While we must recognize the world as it is, David teaches us that we have the power to choose how we identify ourselves - even in the face of outward evidence suggesting that we are not up to standard.

Looking inward could not help very much to resolve our identity issues either, because we really are just what we are - which is sometimes not as good as we want to be. If you feel like your height defines you, there may not be very much you can do to change it (you may be able to change a few things about yourself on the other hand - like skin color). That is only one reason not to look inward to find identity. The more important reason is that everything material fades in time. Everything that's of value today, each of those things we would die to have or be will fade.

We can look upward to God to find insight into what we’re really worth. When He envisioned you and I, He wanted to make something in His own image. Psalm 139 vs. 13 - 17 describes God planning our days even before we were conceived. Even in sin, God reminds us of our worth through Christ’s death. Christ describes us as valuable silver coins, its owner will do all it takes to secure each one. To others and even to ourselves, we might not be worth a lot, but to the one who owns us (God) we’re worth everything.

We have a choice, to identify ourselves as rich, poor, middle-class, short, tall, average, brilliant, dull, normal, pretty, ugly, gay, straight, black, white, red, Pisces, Leo, sick, healthy, unworthy, lucky, Nigerian, American, British or whatever. Or we can simply identify as God’s

Photo by Ismael Sanchez from Pexels

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