Made for This: A Study on Identity, Belonging, and Purpose

Devotional

Identity Crisis

By Pastor Dan Hickling

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”—Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)

Our world is in the throes of a crisis, but not one that you’re probably thinking of. It isn’t the by-product of a communicable disease nor is it rooted in any political, social, or economic issue. This crisis is much broader and reaches far deeper. It even has the potential to reach into the innermost depths of each person on the planet. Sound audacious, exaggerated, or extreme? Hardly . . . this barely scratches the surface of the identity crisis of the soul that every human must eventually confront.

We all come into this world with a deep-seated sense that something is missing in us. It’s that internal wrestle that begins on the childhood playground as we start to notice certain alliances forming. We become aware that some lunch tables are cooler than others, and we either make a play for a seat at them or resent this newly discovered reality. This is just the beginning of one’s quest for identity. Who am I? What is my place in life? Where do I belong? Why do I feel incomplete on my own? Who are my people? How do I fit in and stay in?

Sound familiar? Of course, it does, because we all come to this identity crisis at some point. Everyone asks these questions, but not everyone finds the answers. Or, the answers aren’t what we wished them to be. But there’s one place where every question about our identity is answered, and the answer is more wonderful than anything we could hope to imagine for ourselves. We find it in God’s Word, and it wastes no time in settling our identity issue for us by revealing that mankind was made according to nothing less than God’s own image and likeness.

Simply put, we belong to God, our lives are to be spent according to His purpose for us, and our sense of identity derives from Him. This is huge because it ends the exhausting quest of satisfying our deep desire for identity by connecting with someone or something beyond ourselves.

In the end, nothing of this earth is able to fully meet our instinct for identity; not our friends, our family, our status, our resume . . . none of it quells the sense that our identity is incomplete. But when God is placed at the center of our lives, the conflict finds resolution. The crisis is then put behind us and an unfolding adventure of walking with God awaits us!

I am created in God’s image. My place is in relationship with Him. I belong wherever He places me. I am complete in Him. My people are all who are His, and I fit in and stay in according to His power at work in my life.

Pause: How do you relate to the universal crisis of identity? Where do you derive your sense of identity?

Practice: Consider how you can practically reinforce the fact that your true identity derives from God. How can Genesis 1:26 be a part of this?

Pray: Father God, I confess that I can get caught up and distracted by the things of this world and even allow them to dictate my sense of identity. Protect me from this tendency and keep me firmly fixed on the fact that You determine who I am and all that flows from that truth. Amen.