Identity is one concept that most people, especially youngsters struggle to define, maintain and project. I have observed that when you meet someone for the first time, after introducing him/herself with the name, he/she then tries to further enrich the introduction by stating where he/she works e.g. ‘I am Mr. Lagbaja and i work with Shell Petroleum Development Company, etc. In this case the individual is drawing his identity from the prestige of the organization he works for.
I see defining an identity as three sides of a coin, not two. How, you may ask? The top, the centre and the bottom. Identity can be God defined, self defined and society defined. Ideally it is supposed to be God defined, self defined and then society defined. However today the reverse is the case, people define their identities based on societal expectations, then their perceived self image. Funny enough the God definition of their identities is relegated to the background.
We are living in a highly materialistic world where people are so crazy about the volume of material possessions they have. In this case alot of people fall victims, especially the young people. They define their identities by the clothes they wear. Hmmmm, fashion!!!!! If you don’t wear a Gucci, Calvin Klien or T.M Lewin you are not a ‘big boy’. If you don’t wear Dolce & Gabbana or Chris Aire jewellries and accessories, you are not the happening babe in the block. To a great extent some people define their status by the cars they drive or the houses they live in.
Personnaly, i strongly believe that our identities should be God defined, especially from his word. A song writer said ‘am not the shoes i wear, am not the clothes i buy, am not the house i live in, am not the car i drive; am not the job i work, you can’t define my worth... my identity is found in Christ. Material things should not define us but don’t get me wrong because it’s good to have them and they are also God’s blessings. The society should not set a standard for us to define who we are.
God’s word says we are gods and children of the most high. That is what we are and who we are. The same word also said that as in a mirror we behold our image and are transformed into that image, and that image is Christ Jesus. Therefore, ‘Identity is found in the God we trust, any other identity will self destruct.’ – Lecrae (2008)