How to Resolve an Identity Crisis

We all live in an ongoing identity crisis that began when humanity lost its true sense of who we each are in the first chapters of scripture, after the creation of the world. This identity theft was orchestrated and accomplished by Satan; “the Accuser, the father of lies.” IMG_2853

Today we enter this ongoing tension with terms like “sexual identity” and “identity preference,” but deep down the voices of condemnation and self-hatred often trump the therapeutic and radical individualistic terms of our day.

The postmodern philosophers are keen to the crisis more than Christians ought to be. Although Foucault’s work is often hailed as one of the inspirations for various identity movements, Foucault himself favors the dissolution of identity rather than its creation or maintenance. Postmodern thinkers tend to see identity as a form of subjugation and a way of exercising power over people, preventing them from moving outside fixed boundaries.

One Christian writer named Henri Nouwen, who struggled with sexual identity, wrote: “Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection . . . As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, ‘Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.’ … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the ‘Beloved.’ Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”

It seems that we are each inclined to empower some one else with the authority to define our identity, even to let others put a price tag on our very worth. The atheist or humanist must make themselves or other people their final authority to define themselves. They do not believe in God or the demonic, therefore they choose to deny their voices. However, to continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, is to remain in the identity crisis filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. Yet, how God thinks of us is the final resolution to the identity crisis.

In Jesus Christ the identity crisis, as it were, is settled once for all. In Adam’s first sin all people are guilty and are under the sentence of condemnation. We remain subject to addictions, confusion, shame, guilt, and alienation (Romans 5). Until we acknowledge our hostility against God (Romans 8:7) and receive God’s love by faith in Christ’s reconciliation on the cross, we will not enjoy being declared pardoned, righteous, children of God, saints, and free. What defined us before we are in Christ will be exchanged for a new identity in his life, death, and resurrection. Are you in Adam living a in the past (B.C.), or are you in Christ living by faith (A.D.)?

Even now God sees Christians with a constant approval, as if we are now what we will one day become. As C. S. Lewis once said in a sermon, “That Face which is the delight or the terror of the universe must be turned upon each of us either with one expression or with the other either conferring glory inexpressible or inflicting shame that can never be cured or disguised.”

“Thine the Amen” by Carl F. Schalk

Thine the amen Thine the praise

alleluias angels raise

Thine the everlasting head

Thine the breaking of the bread

Thine the glory Thine the story

Thine the harvest then the cup

Thine the vineyard then the cup is

lifted uplifted up.

Thine the life eternally

Thine the promise let there be

Thine the vision Thine the tree

all the earth on bended knee

Gone the nailing gone the railing

gone the pleading gone the cry

Gone the sighing gone the dying

what was loss lifted high.

Thine the truly Thine the yes

Thine the table we the guest

Thine the mercy all from Thee

Thine the glory yet to be

Then the ringing and the singing

then the end of all the war

Thine the living Thine the loving

evermore evermore.

Thine the kingdom Thine the prize

Thine the wonder full surprise

Thine the banquet then the praise

then the justice of Thy ways

Thine the glory Thine the story

Then the welcome to the least

Then the wonder all increasing

at Thy feast at Thy feast.

Thine the glory in the night

no more dying only light

Thine the river Thine the tree

Then the Lamb eternally

Then the holy holy holy

celebration jubilee

Thine the splendor Thine the brightness

only Thee only Thee.