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Karen L. Shurtz, MA, M.F.T.



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Our society is increasingly seeing people who identify with just one aspect of who they are, such as race or gender. Why is this?

When there is a deep sense of self, then identity is MORE than just the color of my skin or my sexuality or what I do, it is who I am at the core.
When people criticize what you DO, if your core value/identity is deep and solid, then it won’t impact you that greatly, because you are more than what you do or what you look like.

If however, there is a shallow sense of self or identity, then when what you do is criticized, it’s like they are criticizing YOU and it’s devastating.

For example, if I get a bad job review, I’m not happy about it, but if I’m more than my job, it doesn’t destroy me. Or if I’m a teacher, and someone gives me negative feedback about my performance, I can handle it, because I know that my teaching is just one aspect of me, but it doesn’t define me.

In the Olympics, 2 of the members of the US Diving Team won a silver medal in their event. In the post interview, they said, “The Olympics and diving are great, but our identity is in Christ.” For so many athletes, their success or failure in their athletic endeavors do define them, and they do not see themselves or their worth as separate from their sport achievements. For these divers, they know that their sense of self goes way beyond how they perform on the diving board.

So where do we find our identity?

There is a philosophical basis for Identity in Scripture — are we just products of chance or are we created in the image of an almighty God?
We either just happened randomly or we have innate worth and value.

The Bible says that we are created in God’s image, and if you believe this – no matter who you are, what you look like, what you do – this overshadows everything.

If we look at what Scripture says about our identity:
— we are redeemed — God sent His Son to die for us, so that we could be reconciled to God the Father
— if we trust in Christ as our Savior, we become adopted sons and daughters of God the Father
— we have intrinsic value and worth
— our identity is secure when we trust in Christ as our Savior

2 Corinthians 1:22
He (God) has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

What are you placing your identity on? Make sure your identity is secure and that you have assurance that you are more than just your outward appearance or what you do. The more your identity lines up with who the God of the universe says that you are, the more solid your sense of self will be.

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