Discipleship // Youth
Identity Crisis
Identity Crisis

Answering the question ‘Who are you?’ can seem incredibly simple and straightforward but one that can be difficult for us to answer. Our identity can bring confusion, inconsistency and can be stressful. It can be something we don’t just struggle to put into words to share with others, but it can be an intense inward battle.

Who are you?

This seems to be something the enemy attacks regularly, something he can’t seem to leave alone, but why? The answer is simple, we were created in God’s image and the enemy hates that. Imagine what we would be able to do for God if we had a full grasp on who we were. The enemy wouldn’t stand a chance, so of course he tries to stop us in our path. Of course, he tries to cloud our minds with confusion and interference. But we are made in the image of God.

Instead of hiding it, own it.

Why do we continually fall for it though, why does it continue to be an issue?

It all comes down to intimacy, our intimacy with God. How close do we really like to get to him? We may have realised the closer we get the more exposed we are, but if the Bible teaches us anything it’s that we can’t hide it from God anyway.

Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it’s light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to the light.

Mark 4:21-22

God sees us. He sees our mess. He sees our failures. He sees our motives. He sees our mistakes. Yet, He still loves us. He chooses to see our good. He sees our potential. 

How intimate are you with God? Your intimacy will determine your identity.

Before we can know who we are, we must know who God is.

  • God is CREATOR 
  • God is FAIR 
  • God is JUST 
  • God is MERCIFUL 
  • God is KIND 
  • God is ALL KNOWING 
  • God is ALL POWERFUL 
  • God is ALL PRESENT 
  • God is FORGIVING 
  • God is GRACIOUS 
  • God is our JUDGE 
  • God is our BEST FRIEND 
  • God is our FATHER 

God has seen it all before. He is never caught off guard or surprised. God loves you with an UNFAILING, NEVER-ENDING LOVE. 

Our identity can often be placed in other things instead of with God, for example your grades, what school you go to, where you live, your hobbies, how good you are at sport, your clothes, how you look. Why are these a problem?

Well, let’s take beauty as an example.

What do we define beauty as? Make up, social rank, Instagram likes and followers, Facebook, Snapchat score, being skinny, being curvy, having an Athletic shape.  

These are measured by our perception and the cultural norm. What we think is beautiful, is different from another person’s point of view never mind how what is beautiful changes all the time, it fits in with whatever the new trend is or what seems to be popular. For example, big eyebrows are seen to be beautiful now, but in the 90’s and early 2000s thin eyebrows were all the rage. Mullets were a thing of the past until this year, we now see more mullets than ever come back into style.

What the world says is beautiful isn’t constant and is impossible to live up to, how can your identity be placed in something so inconsistent?

The core problem of placing your identity on how you look or any other idea that the world tries to tell us is important, is it sends the message, you aren’t ‘worthy’ enough, you aren’t ‘good’ enough, you aren’t ‘pretty’ enough, or you aren’t ‘smart’ enough.


We must break this cycle and begin to realise how God defines us.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge him by his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 1:7

How many of us believe that? We need to start giving value to what God says and not what society says. We need to change our mindset and perspective or else we’ll spend our whole lives running in circles trying desperately to feel loved, to ‘find’ who we are, when the answer is with God.

We all want to feel like we’re wanted, needed, appreciated, cared for, missed, loved, enough. 

That feeling is something that a guy or girl can’t give you. Your family and friends can’t give you. Success and achievements can’t give you. It’s something, you can’t even give yourself. 

 That ‘thing’ that’s missing, only God can give you, and he isn’t hiding, he isn’t making it difficult.

If you look for me wholeheartedly you will find me

Jeremiah 29:13

You are not what you think you are.

You are not what you feel you are.

You are not what other people say you are.

You are who God says you are.

God says you are:

  • LOVED 
  • FREE 

This is your identity, because this is what God has to say about you. And unlike everything else God doesn’t change.

You can’t live this out on your own, it would be impossible but with God, you can. That’s where we need the help of the Holy Spirit, you don’t have to strive, but you do have to allow God to work from the inside, out. It’s only the Holy Spirit that can bring change, change in our lives and help us to change how we see ourselves. He brings change in our lives that make us different.

I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God. So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.

Joshua 14:7-9

Caleb was one out of 12 spies sent in to scout the Promised Land however, he was very different to everyone else. When everyone else was overcome with fear and uncertainty, Caleb remembered the promises God had given them.

His identity was in God, what God said and who God said he was, not in his own ability.

This meant he was different to everyone else, his vote to go and take the land was massively outnumbered, it made him stand out.

His identity being in God made him different. But God blessed him for it.

Having our identity in God will make us different to other people, as it should. It goes against what the world tries to tell us is important and how we are to live our lives. But this is what God asks of us. Instead of our identity being rooted in shallow, inconsistent and selfish notions, our identity needs to be in him and who he says we are.

How can you begin to accept and know your identity?

1. Accept: the gifts, abilities, personality, and uniqueness God has given you. 

2. Ownership: it’s time to know who you are in Christ and own it. 

3. Know who God is: renew your mind. 

Remember to truly accept and know your identity it comes back to being intimate with God, so get close to him. Remind yourself who he is not just who he says you are. When we accept and understand how amazing God is and how much he cares and has done for us, we won’t want our identity to be in anything else. Whenever you feel yourself fall into an identity crisis turn to God, don’t let the enemy rob you of who you are.

Written by Jess McMaster

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