One of the big things at the moment is ‘identity politics’. Some people define their sense of who they are according to their gender identity or sexual orientation. Several student groups have tried to ban speakers from university meetings because their views may challenge the way in which some young people perceive themselves. The recent attempt to ban feminist firebrand Germane Greer from a such an event on account of her outspoken views on gender identity is a case in point.
Others build their sense of identity around their work. They are first and foremost an accountant, businesswoman, professional athlete, builder, or whatever. The trouble with that is when people lose their jobs or have to retire from work, their whole identity is thrown into question. They feel at a loss, not knowing who they are any longer, or what they are going to do with themselves.
The Christian’s sense of identity is based on knowing that God created all people in his image and that he loves all human beings, whatever our gender, race, or social background. The believer also sees himself or herself as being accepted by God in Christ. We don’t have to try and impress God by our efforts. He graciously forgives all who believe in Jesus and gives us a new identity in Christ. That new identity in him is rock solid.
I was struck by the words of Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby in response to revelations concerning the identity of his father that must have have a disorientating effect on who he perceived himself to be. He wasn’t blown off track by the breaking news testifying, “I know that I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.”
In an age where many are suffering from an identity crisis, its a joy to know who you are in Jesus.
For News & Views, West Lavington and Trinity Magazine, Dilton Marsh