Everyone knows that one kid who joined the theater program and then became the epitome of a “theater kid.”
If you asked them to tell you who they are as a person, they would probably say something related to theater, because it’s become their whole identity.
Identity is defined as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual” and is an immensely popular topic right now. Everybody wants to know who they are.
Knowing who you are brings a sense of security, belonging, and comfort, letting you walk around with confidence and a feeling of worth or value.
It’s actually a good thing to know your identity, but unfortunately, our current society doesn’t understand what identity truly is and applies a misshapen ideology to determine an individual’s worth.
According to the world, your identity consists of your race, gender, sexual orientation, and the things you do.
But according to the Bible, a Christian’s identity consists of who we are in Christ.
Identity politics, or intersectionality theory, is an expression of the world’s identity ideology and a clear picture of its destructiveness. Centered on the premise that the world can be divided into ‘oppressed’ vs. ‘oppressor’ based on the various groups you identify with, intersectionality theory divides people based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, and other characteristics.
According to current cultural values, the more ‘marginalized’ groups you’re part of, the more oppressed you are, and therefore, the more you (and your opinion) matter.
For example, a black, gay, trans “woman” has more “oppressed” points, and is therefore more valuable than a straight, white man. Those with more “oppressor” points are considered inherently bad, and those with more “oppressed” points are considered inherently good.
Identity politics strips your identity (and redefines morality) down to race, gender, and sex; a thoroughly unbiblical view of identity (and morality).
The world also says our identity is found through vocation or hobbies, like in the example of a “theater kid” (and don’t take this to mean I’m picking on theater kids – I’ve been in a couple of productions myself! This same philosophy applies to basketball players, artists, etc.).
If what you do becomes who you are, you’re placing your identity in something that does not last and cannot be truly fulfilling.
Finding your identity in what you do is dangerous – and can also lead to finding your identity in good works or persistent sins instead of in Christ.
Galatians 3:26-28 tells us,
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Therefore, everything the world has put so much misguided emphasis on doesn’t matter and doesn’t determine our true identity or value.
As believers, our true identity comes from being in Christ – forgiven, redeemed, adopted sons or daughters of God (and if you want to learn more about what having an identity in Christ means, I recommend checking out Jerry Bridges’ book Who am I?).
Our worth and value have nothing to do with our identity.
Rather, they come from being made in the image of God.
In the same way, our righteousness comes from whether or not we’ve accepted Christ – not from our skin color or gender.
Having an identity that doesn’t fade, lasts forever, and truly speaks to the value of an individual can only come through salvation in Christ Jesus, through His death on the cross and resurrection.
In a society that’s so full of mental health issues, division, and suffering, that knowledge is something worth having.