Ever since mankind lost his Edenic blamelessness, there has remained a part of him that he has constantly failed to fulfil: his identity. From a Biblical perspective, mankind was created with an identity and purpose perfectly carved out into his God-breathed make-up. Mankind was delicately tuned to be in a good healthy relationship with his designer and maker, and that relationship was to bring man all he needed to understand the Father's love for him. Man's fall from grace, however, meant his godly identity became isolated and unobtainable for a fallen being; hence his eternal need for a satisfying, purposeful replacement. This was never going to happen, it could not happen. His God-given identity was part of God himself, born out of God's own image. This could never be replaced, except by God himself. Driven on by a need to be accepted, man chased an identity he could not meet himself. Everything became task orientated with the false belief that if he worked hard enough he would be accepted and all would be well.
I know many, including myself, who brought this thinking into their Christian walk with Jesus. constantly seeking to develop their, 'ministries/identities', to be the best they could to impress their Father, making one poor choice after another trying to earn an acceptance that cannot be earned. Deep spirituality, the deeper the better, became the Christians vision, without really understanding that we are already accepted in what Jesus has already done, Jesus became sin for us and we received his righteousness- 2 Corinthians 5:21. We have the mind of Christ- 1 Corinthians 2:16: and best of all we have a new identity in Christ:
2 Peter 1:3-4.
3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [a]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature.
So you see if you are still striving to reverse the consequences of the fall in order to be accepted by God, attempting to regain your old identity, don't bother, you don't need it. God has given you a new one, a better one, one which is motivated by the greatest love of all, that of the son of God, Jesus.
Steve Howell has been a Christian for over 44 years. About 15 years ago he founded Rethink: a biblical initiative that assists Christians towards a renewed mind and thinking processes. Steve has spent the last ten years developing Rethink and using it widely in churches, schools and rehab centres. He currently concentrates his work on the South West of England and the West Midlands.