In 2018, Derek Carr, the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders, was asked what the first thing he would do after signing a 125-million-dollar contract? He replied that he would support his local church with a 10% donation.
Why would Derek Carr say that? Because he knows who he is and what he’s about. Identity plays a significant role in the day-to-day decisions of our lives.
The dictionary defines identity as the distinguishing character or personality of a person; the relation established by your psychological and belief system. This definition intertwines what we believe and how we view life. Belief is like a filter.
Our filter of faith or doubt carries insight into how we view life and handle challenges. Much research and many studies on the importance of knowing and defining humanity. Our sense of identity encompasses who we think we are and how we perceive ourselves.
A healthy sense of identity is paramount to fulfill our unique purpose and to find and fulfill our destiny.
When temporary things like money define us, we subject ourselves to wrong outcomes. Things such as our beauty, our bodies, and our youth. If our identity is wrapped up in these, we are sure to suffer an identity crisis or an identity collapse. Identity collapse occurs when we place the entirety of who we are in earthy treasures or worldly success.
Our jobs, possessions, and previous accolades are never a solid foundation on which to define our lives. There is nothing wrong with wealth and prosperity unless our lives are defined by them. God will allow you to own anything, as long as it does not own us.
Another way we measure wrong is to put too much emphasis on how people see us.
It is true that Charlie Chaplin actually was the runner up in his own look-alike contest. What does that tell you? It means that people do not always believe in who you are.
Not even if it’s really you.
The internationally renowned author and professor Henri Nouwen gave us the five lies of identity:
- I am what I have
- I am what I do
- I am what other people say or think of me.
- I am nothing more than my worst moment.
- I am nothing less than my best moment.
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These five lies are truly on-point. They also reveal the key areas where people measure the value and worth of their lives. We also know that identity theft is happening in epidemic proportions around the world. This means we are in a full-blown identity crisis. Every day people are either stealing the identity of others or people surrender their identity and live their lives according to what they perceive others want them to be.
We are candidates for identity theft and identity surrender when we would rather be someone else. A recent poll showed that 60% of the population says they would rather be someone other than themselves. Shocking yet true.
Most psychologists say; the most common cause of self-devaluation is a person’s own uniqueness.
Many in our generation are duped into thinking that being someone else is more comfortable than being themselves. Not true!
How could it possible be that it is easier to be someone else than be you? Most of us think that if people really knew us, they would not love us. The only way to be an original is to be you. There is only one YOU!
God created us in His image for His distinct purpose.
That purpose will never find us, unless we find ourselves!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Kindly drop a comment below so that we can continue the conversation. I don’t take your time for granted. Should you so desire, you can check out more of my writing on Medium.com.
Best wishes, Thomas