Theorist Erik Erikson coined the term “identity crisis” and believed that it was one of the most important conflicts people face in development. According to Erikson, an identity crisis is a time of intensive analysis and exploration of different ways of looking at oneself. Those with a status of having a scattered identity tend to feel out of place in the world and don’t pursue a sense of true identity.
We hear it from every corner. People are struggling with identity; Boys identifying as girls, women identifying as men, white people identifying as African- American. A kind of inner struggle exists and the search for the “true self” begins as if they were born in the wrong body or placed in the wrong place.
Does it matter? More and more, society seems to think not. Maybe God made a mistake by putting the right person in the wrong body. Maybe nature is playing a cruel joke.
Back to Scripture we go to find the truth. Our first clue comes from the very beginning in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created Him; male and female He created them.” The separation of the sexes. No talk about feelings or being able to identify as one if you were created to be another. From the very beginning, we were created in the image of God both male and female.
Onto Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Just as He did Jeremiah, God knew who he was going to create even before your inception. God doesn’t make mistakes. Everything is well planned out. Being born into a world of sin might change things, but God’s intentions for you have never changed.
Finally, from 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We are God’s own, created by Him for a purpose and chosen by Him out of a love too immense to imagine. As such, we can tie our identity to God’s identity, making everything we do a sign that we identify as His and His alone.
As Christians, we are taught to, “Put off the old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
This doesn’t mean we are free to choose what gender we are, it means we cling to the self that God created us to be, rejecting the sinful being of the world for the person born into a newness of life under Christ. It doesn’t mean that we try and find salvation in worldly ways because we think we have been born into the wrong body, it means we are to lean on Christ to guide us towards the identity we were created to be.
Many of our brothers and sister are struggling with identity issues and none of that condemns them. What they need is our love, not our scorn. We are to help them to love themselves without having to reach for worldly solutions to their issues with identity. All people need to know that God doesn’t make mistakes and he loves us equally. Accept the way God has formed you, His intentions are pure and His plan for your life will lead you to your ultimate joy. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for creating us in your likeness and help us to be satisfied with whom you have created. Forgive us when we have clung to worldly solutions to our spiritual problems and guide us to the truth. Amen.