Identity Determines Focus
Protecting your identity is a big deal these days, and for good reason.
- 10 million Americans yearly are victims of identity theft.
- Identity theft happens every 10 seconds.
- Identity theft costs $50 billion yearly.
In addition to identity theft, there are also false identities to consider. From fake IDs to manipulating what people think of you online to the luring of children and teens through social media, false identities wreak havoc and destroy lives in many ways.
Mistaken identity wrecks lives too. With one mistaken-identity arrest daily, there are hundreds of individuals now in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.
A person feels violated when their identity is stolen. They are rightfully angry when someone hurts them or someone they love by manipulation through a false identity. And stories of mistaken identity never cease to baffle comprehension.
What is Identity?
Though our physical selves and identifying information are a big part of our identity, they are not the whole of it. Not even close.
Identity is the core of who you are as a person. It creates your values, which shape your beliefs, which direct your actions. Identity creates your focus, and your focus determines the reality of your life.
Identity is shaped by our early life experiences, by the roles we have and by what we think others think about us. It’s also shaped by our relationships, our aspirations, our personality and our interests.
“A period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aim or role in society.”
We most often associate identity crisis with teenagers and midlifers. Yet, it happens many other times and for various other reasons too.
We often see identity crisis as a result of an empty nest, job loss and retirement. We’re also now seeing more and more people increasingly confused about their sexual and gender identities for reasons that are highly debatable.
At the heart of any identity crisis lies identity theft, false identity and mistaken identity. We too often let our past define us, or we let what someone did to or said about us shape our identity. We also too often let what our culture says we should look like impact our identity.
I struggled with my identity as a teenager and then again when my parent’s divorced. I went into crisis when I became a mother and also when that same child left for college. The onset of mid life isn’t being too kind to my identity lately either.
What I have progressively discovered through this struggle is that I let the wrong things and people (and wrong doesn’t mean bad) define my identity, who I was at my core. As I increasingly focused on my Identity in Christ, however, I found a firm foundation, one that doesn’t change.
All those other things that gave me an identity vulnerable to crisis changed over time based on my mood or choices. Once I discovered and then better understood and focused on My True Identity, that instability began to gradually disappear.
Identity in Christ
An identity in Christ doesn’t ever change because it doesn’t depend on us in any way. We can take our focus off of that identity, however, since our focus determines our reality.
We’ll go into more detail on an identity in Christ in next week’s post. For now, meditate on the fact that the only secure identity to be had is one founded and secured in Christ.
“For no man can lay a foundation other than that one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)
“Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)