At some point in life we all have to get real with ourselves and answer this question:
Who are you?
The world we live in trains us to answer that by saying, “Teacher, musician, athlete, boyfriend, girlfriend, waiter, or salesman.”
While all these titles may be something we do, I would argue that the titles have nothing to do with who we are.
The next two questions I believe are some of the most important questions in life:
Where do you find your identity?
Who would you be if what you DO was taken away from you?”
Identity is something I have strong convictions on. I believe that once you get your identity established you then can be and do everything God has called you to do.
For so many years of my life I would have told you I was a basketball player. Since the day I was born I had some type of sports ball in my hand. I have old VHS tapes and pictures of me throwing a tennis ball, shooting a basketball, swinging a bat, and participating in every other sport you can think of. I was an ATHLETE. Baseball and Basketball were what I stuck with. I lived and breathed sports, especially baseball and basketball. That is all I thought about all day. As I got older, I started to compare myself with other players. I remember being jealous of kids on other teams that were better than me. Everything I did was to be the best. Mentally, without realizing it, I had begun to find my value and worth based on how baseball and basketball were going for me. When we won, and I played good, life was good. And when we lost, and I played bad, you could expect to find me in my driveway shooting until the streetlight shut off, hitting off a tee, or pitching into my backyard fence.
Everything I thought and did was to be the best in my sport.
When I was 16 years old I got to a place in my life where I was so upset with who I
was. My baseball career just ended. My basketball career was looking like I wouldn’t end up playing at the high level I wanted to. I had come to a crossroad. You see, my whole life I had used my athletic performance and praise of others to determine my value and worth. I finally hit a point where I was so depressed I didn’t want to live anymore.
When we hit a crossroad, we have to know our source of identity.
When your source of identity is your job, your sport, your significant other, or anything other than Christ — there will come a point where you won’t be fulfilled completely. Like me, you will find yourself at a place where you are questioning life. Questioning why and questioning who you are.
God never intended for us to struggle with who we are. He tells us directly who we are multiple times in His Word.
“Beloved, right now we are children of God.” 1 John 3:22
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” Romans 8:16
Our identity comes from the fact that we are God’s children. Any other claim of identity is merely a lie and can lead to destruction in your life because it can never fulfill you.
It is from the place of being completely established and fulfilled in our identity in Christ that we can start to do great things.
You can’t find your joy and fulfillment based on a relationship or even how your partner treats you or makes you feel. If I am only doing good depending on how they talk to me today, I will always be searching for affirmation and never be secure. I have done it in my life. It is a slippery slope that never ends well. It will leave you in a place of codependency. That isn’t healthy, and that is never what God wanted.
Until you are completely convinced you are fulfilled in Christ, you will look to circumstances and people to tell you that you’re good enough.
“It is through him that we live and function and have our identity; just as your own poets have said, ‘Our lineage comes from him’.” Acts 17:28
Your identity comes from Christ. Notice it says that it is through that source of identity that we live and function. You will not be able to fully live and function the way you should in life if you don’t have faith in that God given identity. Your worth as a person is set. You are no more valuable or less valuable because of what you do!
Today, we look to our jobs, our spouses, our talents, our athletic ability and other things to make us feel right, good or complete within ourselves. We look everywhere other than where we should— to our Heavenly Father!
A dear friend of mine at PGC basketball teaches about the “Ray Allen Mentality”. When Ray Allen played, his demeanor and emotional expression was almost always stoic and calm. Ray never rose too high or too low. Ray is arguably one of the greatest shooters of all time. Ray was consistent because he knew who he was. He was a great shooter. He did all the things that great shooters do. When things were going well he was secure, when things weren’t going well he was secure. Ray never changed. That same attitude is something Ray unknowingly took from Jesus.
Jesus knew who He was. No matter what was happening, whether He was being persecuted or being praised, He NEVER changed who He was to fit those around Him.
Look at the Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They knew that they were God’s children. And when their circumstances and situations were telling them to compromise that identity, they faced it head-on. They didn’t worry about the fire. The fire or “circumstance” wasn’t who they were. And because of that, on their worst day, in the hottest fire, they recognized Jesus there with them. They left that fire unharmed with no evidence of even being in a fire. Why? Because the fire and circumstance are not who they were, and your circumstances are not who you are.
The key to overcome is to know who you are!
It’s time to have our identity completely established in Christ. You are not a worship pastor, a minister, a student, a girlfriend, a husband, a hairstylist, a basketball player, a coach, or even a mom or dad. While those are all important things that we do, our ultimate source of identity is in being God’s children. That can NEVER be taken away.
“Beloved, right now we are children of God.” 1 John 3:2
Until you are completely convinced you are fulfilled in Christ, you will look to circumstances and people to tell you that you’re good enough .
It is from the place of being completely established and fulfilled in our identity in Christ that we can start to do great things. Being secure in who God has made you to be is the starting place for greatness. It’s not something that’s hard to obtain, you don’t have to go to counselors for years. You can be Who God has made you to be right now. All it takes is a simple change in your mind.
Believe in who He has made you to be today.
If these thoughts helped you in any way please share them with your family & friends. If you have any questions reach out to me on facebook (Tanner Gregurich) or Instagram (@tannerwgregurich).