Years ago, the theorist and psychologist Erik Erikson coined the term “identity crisis.” He believed it was one of the most important conflicts peopled faced in human development. According to Erikson, an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis—an exploration of different ways of looking at oneself.
There is an entire generation experiencing an elongated spiritual identity crisis. Why is this generation interested in the subject of identity? First of all, the world has gotten larger. There are now approximately 8 billion people on planet Earth; all of us are asking, in the middle of billions of people, “Who am I?”
Secondly, there is a term called “extended adolescence,” where the psychological and emotional development stages that used to take place in teenage years have now extended into the early and mid-20s. Though physical development has increased and has become more rapid, psychologically and emotionally, this generation seems to be trailing behind their predecessors.
Thirdly, we are living in an age of post-modern deconstructionism. The absolutes of our world have been torn down over the last 100 years. Many things that we thought were absolute have been attacked in our society, from God’s Word to God as Creator. Though there have been attacks in generations before us, we now find ourselves asking where we can find a touchstone to understand ourselves and our identity.
Also, the rise of social media and the false positive messages it promotes is creating an identity crisis in many. People are basing their identity on their social identity. We are flooded by people from around the world showing us their vacations, smiles, weight loss, and luxuries. Then we look at ourselves, wondering who we are in comparison to them. We forget that people do not always post their negative messages.
There is a concerted effort of darkness to distort and confuse the identity of this generation. Satan knows that if we do not understand who we are, we will never defeat him in Christ’s name. As believers in Christ, it is important that you understand who you are in Christ. You have an identity in Him. You are God’s child, filled with purpose and promise because He loves you, and the only way you will ever know who you really are is through Jesus Christ.