These are questions that can roll through my mind and consume my thoughts more frequently than I’d like to admit. At the heart, they are asking, Who am I?
Maybe these echo some of your own heart’s questions.
Maybe you also get self-conscious about new things and selfies and clothes-shopping.
Maybe, like me, you’ve heard your identity in Christ - chosen, wanted, whole, forgiven, new, cleansed, accepted, approved, justified, free, and so much more - but you still struggle with insecurities.
And maybe like me, you want to not just know in your head those words that describe who you are in Christ, but you also want them to be rooted in your heart. You want to be confident and secure in your identity in Christ so that you can live as who God created you to be without fear or shame.
When we look at the beginning, when God created the first man and woman, we see who He created us to be: in His image.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’ So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
This is the core of our identity. It tells us who we are and why we were created.
The word “image” comes from the Hebrew word tselem. It means resemblance or representative figure. The word “likeness” comes from the Hebrew word demuwth. It means resemblance, form, shape, or pattern.
In Genesis 1, tselem refers to God creating people to reflect some of His own perfections. Demuwth signifies the original after which something is patterned. God is not patterned after anything, as Isaiah 40:18 says, “To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with Him?”
Being created in the image of God means first that we are created for relationship with God.
The "Us" and "Our" in this passage refers to the Trinity. Before any of creation was created, God existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in perfect communion with Himself.
God is complete, whole, and enough in Himself, and we are incomplete, broken, and lacking without Him. We need God; we find our worth, joy, peace, hope, purpose, and identity in Him. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
Being created in the image of God also means we are created to reflect His character in our relationships with others.
As we live in relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, He shapes us into Christ-likeness. Our lives are to point to the presence of the One true God and be a testimony of the Gospel of Christ and His work in our lives. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors.”
Because we are created in the Image of God - to have relationship with God and to reflect Him in relationship with others - we cannot truly know our identity apart from God.
The answer to the question Who am I? is found in the One who is I AM.
God is love, so I know I am loved.
God is holy, so I know I am sinful.
God is gracious, so I know I am forgiven.
God is Redeemer, so I know I am free.
God is Refuge, so I know I am secure.
God is Healer, so I know I am whole.
Being confident in your identity in Christ starts with remembering Whose you are: getting to know the One in whose Image you are created, spending time with the One in whose likeness you are being shaped, listening to the One in whom you find purpose and worth, resting in the One who says, “You are Mine.”
One practical way I’ve been remembering Whose I am is memorizing and meditating on Bible verses that speak of the attributes of God. As I get to know His character more and more, I come to know His heart more and more, and I trust what He says about me more and more.
This includes what He says about my identity.
You see, all of the mantras, affirmations, and declarations won’t settle the questions of identity or overcome the insecurities about our worth if they are not rooted in the truth and authority of who God is, of Whose we are.
Too often, I know what God says about me, but I don’t let it be enough. I want everyone else to say those things about me as well. I want them to like me and approve of me and choose me and say I have worth and value.
So I let their perceived opinions of me, what they *might* think of me, how they treat me and what they say to me, be the answer to my questions.
And this leaves me insecure and unfulfilled and still questioning.
Because it’s not enough.
But in remembering Whose I am, I remember that God is enough - more than enough!
And what He says about me is enough. I don’t need to look any further than my Creator, Savior, and Lord for the answers to the questions of identity, because really, there isn’t anywhere else I can look and be truly answered.
As Peter says in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life - You are our only hope.”
So when we start to wonder… Do I have significance? Am I worthy of love? Do I bring value to this situation or relationship? Do I belong? Am I good enough? …or any other questions about our identity, let’s remember Whose we are.
In the coming months, I’ll be writing more posts about being confident and secure in our identity in Christ - sign up for my email list so you don’t miss a post!