Identity has been somewhat of a sparring-ground for me all my life. You see, I’m kind of a paradox: I’m outgoing, but I’m extremely analytical and introspective. Not introverted…that means that you always “turn inward.” Introspection means to consider one’s own thoughts or feelings. I’m very introspective, and as a result, I’m very critical of myself. Sometimes I project that onto other people… its a huge fault that I’m trying to heal from. I’ve always been interested in the question “who am I?” What values define me? What activities drive me? What thoughts preoccupy my thinking? What do people think of when they hear the name Luke Wright?
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find my idenity in what other people think of me. I know this isn’t a unique phenomenon… most people do it. The logic that leads to this: other people’s perception of me = who I really am. I’ve learned that nothing can be further from the truth though. You can trick people into having a certain perception of you, while being a totally different person with different values than you let on. Some also find identity in other people’s expectations of them: (blank) expects me to be (blank) so I’m going to be (blank).
I’m not satisfied with these approaches anymore. For whatever reason, I believe that God has crafted in me something unique… a unique expression of life and creativity with unique values. Only he knows who I really am/supposed to be. To “sell out,” and continue to spend many years and energy meeting the expectations and perceptions of people around me will cause me to miss what was intended at my creation.
Question: what are the implications of believing that? If you really are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for you to do,” what does that imply for how we approach “identity”?
For me, its releasing myself from “identity slavery” to everyone around me.
For me, it means figuring out the values of the one who created me.
For me, it implies that only if I continue to seek God in prayer and in the other spiritual disciplines he has given us for the purpose of seeking him, will I ever discover the unique calling he has for me, and indeed, the “identity” I was created with.