The Oxford dictionary defines ‘Identity’ as:
- The characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is.
- A close similarity or affinity.
Society is always trying to dictate who you are and what you should do. The greatest thing you possess to make an impact on society, is your identity. If you don’t know your identity, society will rob you of it.
John 15:18-21 – “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”
Understand that your identity is in Christ Jesus, not in the world. Although you may be in this world, do not allow it to dictate to you who you are or what you should be.
God made you to be you and nobody else. Others can inspire you to be better, but don’t sell yourself to an ever-changing world, for your identity is priceless.
If you want to know who you are as of now, identify your circle. You may know who you are now, but who you become later depends on where you’re going.
Some of us know who we are, but the people we surround ourselves with affect who we become. We’re so quick to cut away pieces of ourselves to suit a relationship, job, circle of friends; incessantly editing who we are until we fit in.
Plants are more courageous than almost all human beings: an orange tree would rather die than produce lemons, whereas the average person would rather be someone they are not.
It is key to note that YOU choose your friends, they don’t choose you.
You can’t relate the same to everybody, so you need to understand the relationship you have with people. That is not to say that you change your identity but adapt accordingly. (See Apostle Paul’s example in 1 Corinthians 9: 20-23).
When you surround yourself with people, be sure to know what kind of people they are. If you’re not assessing them, how can you be sure you’re not picking up their habits?
The people that surround you don’t just surround you for any reason, but for many reasons. You must be vigilant to the fact that not everyone that surrounds you has the best intentions for you. Assess the friends you’ve made, particularly at places like a University.
Assess their lifestyle and what they do; often, you eventually find yourself doing what they do. The circle you walk with determines how far you go and who you become. Jesus chose his circle, but he was the greatest among them. You don’t always need to be the greatest in your circle, sometimes you outgrow them. Surround yourselves with people that will grow into you, so that you will grow beyond where you are.
Remember: the company you keep will influence who you become, thus forming your identity. When people look at your circle, what identity do they give you?
2 Chronicles 18& 1 Kings 22-Jehoshaphat and Ahab
The story of Jehoshaphat and Ahab shows that when you don’t know your identity, you surround yourself with people that impair your judgement. Surrounding yourself with the wrong people is like being intoxicated, you’re under the influence of something (or in this case, someone) else.
Many of our friends are milk, but we need steak. After your salvation, your identity is the most important thing you carry, so feed your spirit and submit your mind unto God daily. The whole world is watching and waiting for you to manifest. What you’re made of is what will manifest in good times, and times of trouble.
You can’t let others define your identity. The world sees what it wants to see but, beyond your mess, God sees the beauty He created and still thinks it’s good! Live by God’s standards, not society’s expectations.