Finding Your Identity

October 17, 2017

Growing up I can distinctly remember my parents often introducing me as, “the baby” because I was the youngest child in our home. As I got older and introduced myself to extended members of our family & friends I often found myself saying, “Hi I’m Christie, I’m the baby in the family.” From a young age, I learned to attach myself to a label or an identity that others put on me or that I gave to myself, and it began to shape who I was, or at least who I thought I was.

Labels are a huge part of our culture today and of course, they can be both good and bad. They can focus on certain roles that you have such as son, wife or General Manager or they can capture certain physical or character attributes about yourself like tall, pretty, or organized. We can also identify with labels of race, religion and medical diagnosis. We give ourselves labels and others give us labels and after a while, things start to get really confusing and we often loose grasp of who we really are because we try so hard to identify with who or what we want to be or who others already say we are.

If we fast forward to my teenage years I shifted from being the baby to being athletic, funny, and shy. It was also during this time that I really began to embrace my role as a Christian. As pressure to fit in and be the person others wanted me to begin to build I began making choices based on what the Bible said rather than what was expected of me by my friends, at least I really tried to.

When I was wrestling with my faith and friends throughout my high school days and into college it wasn’t always easy to do the right thing or to simply follow God’s word. I didn’t have a great grasp of who I really was because I was trying to fit into the world with my friends and follow Christ which just got messy. The inner turmoil that I felt having one foot in both worlds led me to a long season of depression and an overall feeling of being trapped.

You know one of the things that I love most about Jesus is that He doesn’t over-complicate things and often lays things out in a pretty clear and straightforward manner.  I love him even more because he doesn’t hold grudges and he’s willing to welcome us back into his arms regardless of where we are and where we’ve been. We all have to come to a place that we are willing to lay down all of our sin, junk, labels, whatever you want to call it and surrender to God’s will for our lives and accept our identity in Christ.

I can remember attending a women’s event at the Vineyard several years ago and made the decision that I was ready to be done feeling sad and sorry for myself and that I was ready to start fighting for the joy that Christ had for me all along. After I received prayer I was encouraged to go home and find as many bible verses that I could that talked about my Identity in Christ and to begin memorizing them, posting them around my house, and saying them out loud daily-so that’s what I did. The truth from the Bible began to change all of the labels that I had adopted over the years and seal my true identity as a Child of God.

I encourage anyone today who might be struggling to do the same, and see if God doesn’t replace and restore all of the areas in your life that need an overhaul.

Here are a few resources to get you started.

  1. Who Am I? My Identity in Christ by Deborah Haddix
  2. Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson
  3. Identity Theif by Robby Dawkins

Aaron Burden

Christie Knapp is the administrative assistant of Missions, Spiritual Development, Vineyard Groups, and Outreach. In this position, she typically sends emails, edits handouts, and compiles data. Outside of work, she has a great husband and two wonderful sons.