A person’s identity is who they are; it is what sets them apart from everyone else. Who are you? Who do you claim to be? Do people know you, and does their knowledge of you match who you claim to be? Don’t make room for them to assume who you are, and don’t make room for them to guess, but if they do guess, make it possible for them to guess correctly. Just be yourself!
For example, if you see an individual with a stethoscope around his or her neck, you could assume he or she is a medical professional. If you see an individual in court, wearing a robe, sitting behind the bench, and holding a gavel, you could assume he or she is the judge.
In our natural world, everyone has parents. So it is in the spiritual world. You either have God or Satan for a father. Do you call yourself a child of God? If you do, then be a child of God. When you meet people, do they notice something about you that causes them to assume or guess you are a Christian, or will they be uncertain? If they don’t think you are a child of God, you are left with only one other option: they must think you are a child of the devil. But if you are a Christian, then there is something wrong with your identity. What is it?
If you became a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then the person you are should be obvious to people around you. If you live a life of obedience to God, you will in essence be saying you love Him (see John 14:15). On the other hand, if you are living in disobedience, people can quickly assume you are not a Christian, even if you claim to be one.
Jesus is not interested in lip service, and He made that plain to the disciples when He asked them, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not what I say” (Luke 6:46 NIV)? When Jesus was warning against false prophets, He said, “By their fruit you’ll recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:16-18 NIV).
If you are a child of God, the characteristics (fruit) you exhibit should be a clear indication that you are His son or daughter. There is no better way of demonstrating that you are child of God than through obedience. The Bible says, “Be holy for I (God) am holy.” In other words, we should exhibit His trait of holiness in the way we live.
Developing those traits is an ongoing effort. We do not arrive at holiness overnight. According to the apostle Paul, we have to work at it with fear and trembling (see Philippians 2:12). It takes meditation on God’s Word and allowing it to transform us into His nature through the renewing of our mind. Then we will shine, as the Scripture says, like stars in the universe (see Philippians 2:15).
Observing the lives of the disciples, the Jewish leaders were able to accurately conclude that they had been with Jesus. If we indeed have been with Jesus, it should be obvious to others. Claiming to be a Christian and yet living as an unbeliever is proof of an identity crisis. It means one is not really sure who one is.
We need to turn our backs on worldliness and all appearances of evil. A Christian should not live comfortably in sin. If you are, then you need to revisit God’s plan of salvation to make sure you are really born again. If we fall into sin, we should quickly repent, confess, and seek forgiveness. That is the mark of a Christian: the fear of sin and the concern for displeasing God.
Are you experiencing an identity crisis? You can change that by making the determination to live a life that is pleasing to God, and then seeking the help of the Spirit to accomplish it. Let’s put on the armor of God and keep it on (see Ephesians 6:11-18), 24/7.