Identity Crisis


The cry of my generation seems to be, “Who am I?” We are lost, and we are desperately trying to find out who we are. This generation is one of identity confusion. But my generation is not unique. Adolescence and young adulthood, now and historically, have been characterized by identity crisis. We long to know who we truly are. We look for truth in movies, books, music, pop-culture, and even ourselves. My co-workers, some friends, and some family believe that we are responsible for determining who we truly are. Self-identification is appealing in a secular age, where “liberty” reigns supreme. Christians believe that our identity is determined by our loving triune God. Could it be though, that Christians are not immune from the pitfalls of self-identification. What if sin, at its core, is identity confusion?

The Apostle Paul affirms in Colossians that sin is self-forgetfulness…not a good kind of self-forgetfulness though.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God…Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:1-3, 5)

Notice that in verse 3 Paul gives a reason to pursue holiness, and a reason to put sin to death. His reason is “That’s not who you are.” God has killed your sinful life. He has put it to death through his Triune act of redemption. The Father has elected, the Son has enacted, and the Spirit has applied salvation. Since your old, sinful life has been killed, and you have been born again, don’t act like the dead man that was killed. When we sin, we are acting like someone that was put to death. We are not living according to our actual nature. In essence we are living like we are somebody else (identity confusion). Sin, then is self-forgetfulness. We are forgetful of who we are in Christ. Our lives are a process of becoming who we already are.

As we near the end of another semester, I and my classmates are prone to weariness. We are tempted toward covetousness of assignment-free Christmas break (though the break is a good gift from God). We are prone to grumbling, complaining, and bitterness. But this is not who we are. We are redeemed, and we are not to live according to a dead nature. 

Thank you for supporting us in our pursuit to live according to the new nature that God has given us in Christ. Pray for us as we finish this semester.

Patrick Claytor
Senior College Student

Prayer Requests:

  1. Pray that God would grant us to remember who we are in Christ, so that we can fight sin by faith.
  2. Pray that faculty would be strengthened in their inner man/woman as they seek to help us grow in Christ.
  3. Pray that God would give us wisdom to minister his gospel to a confused world.
  4. Pray for those transitioning; pray that God would remind them of their Christian identity in the midst of change.
  5. Pray that God would continue to work through the generosity of the saints to fill the Serious Joy Scholarship.