This week I’ve had a lot on my mind, especially in regards to a large to-do list. But I still have had some of the same theological and philosophical thoughts going through my mind. The primary focus is one that I have mentioned before and seems unending in its complexity, that of identity.
It seems like so much hinges on identity. I have yet to think of a sin or a righteous choice that does not hinge on one’s identity… whether in line with how God views us, or out of line. The choices we make as humans depend so highly on where we find our identity.
One personal example:
A while ago I found myself in a mild altercation with another individual that I felt was motivated by identity. I shared a personal account and the individual found error in it because it directly brought to question their own life experience and what they had taken from it. I was not negating what they had experienced, but in my own story of overcoming it became clear that the individual was hurt by the non-intended implication that they could have overcome the issue and did not.
Just as individuals can find identity in who God made them, we too can build our identity around the difficulties we have faced in the world. People can become very easily offended if you downplay a sickness, struggle or attack in their life, because without even realizing it one can use this “experience” as a building block in their view of themselves. I too have done this.
My previously posted testimony of healing discussed my reliance on my sickness as a crutch. But, my sickness was more than a crutch… it was a carefully crafted building block of my identity. I viewed Lyme Disease as MY sickness. I was ready with an argument about how bad it really was if someone downplayed it, I was easily angered if someone implied it was in my head, the way I viewed myself depended a great deal on being sick.
Why do individuals get so mad when others question their “hard life experiences?” Because humankind, without Christ at the center, is in need of meaning and purpose. We are usually taught that we are the people we are because of the things we go through, but I humbly suggest that we are the people we are because of the God who made us. We have value before we have had any life experience, and our experiences only become opportunities to discover ways in which we already have or have yet to line up with our truest identity, that given us by Christ.