Many people become victims of identity theft. Bank accounts are tapped into. Email accounts are hacked. False identification cards are used to gain access to clubs or events. Some people are so desperate to gain anything that they have to steal from those that have something.
And then....there is the other kind of identity theft......
People who have no clue who or what they are. Grown adults who are living out their parents' dreams out of comfort, fear, and guilt. [Note: there is that dang Spirit of Guilt again.] Children who are participating in 5 extracurricular activities per month just to look like their friends. Adults that are using the same style of parenting with their children and teens that their parents used (and their parents' methods did not work); but this is done to avoid conflict instead of address core issues.
And then there are the Selfie Kings and Queens. Every picture they take is a selfie. Their Twitter and Facebook pictures are all pictures of themselves. "OMG, does this skirt match my nails?" "I wonder if this sweater is appropriate for church". "I hope people think I look cute." "I hate myself". Have you ever thought these things while taking selfies? Now, don't get me wrong. Selfies are not evil. But why do you take them? And if you take them, are all of your pictures selfies? WHERE ARE YOU SEEKING OUT YOUR IDENTITY?
Here are a few places where we try to "find ourselves".......
1. Family/friends---these folks are the most important people in our lives. And they can be the most influential (toxic or empowering) too. What are they pouring into your life? What are you giving to them? Do you make each other better people? Do you challenge them to be great and not ordinary? What is your identity OUTSIDE of your family?
2. Work---This is the place where you earn your paycheck. So often, we have defined people by what they do. Go to a party or any social gathering. Women will talk about what tasks and projects they are a part of. Men will ask each other about work. Don't get too caught up in finding your identity in your work. You might be in a job you love or a job you hate. Find joy in your work but don't let your work define you.
3. Online---Everyone loves when people "like" or comment on their Facebook status. We think it is great to have people that agree with us politically or spiritually. We are a force to reckon with!!! (sarcasm) Today, we all spend alot of time online. What are we searching for? Community? Approval? Love? Check your motives with why you do what do online.
4. Faith---Insert Sunday School answer. We find ourselves in our faith---if we allow ourselves to being conformed into more of who Jesus wants us to be and less of trying to be the welcome mat that the world wants us to be. Everyone is always searching for peace and purpose. We find that from within us. When we allow God into our hearts and minds, renewal occurs. We are more open to seeking God's approval instead of finding our identity from others. We are more open to being comfortable in who/where we are in our spiritual journey and less about making sure we have a label attached to ourselves: Protestant/Catholic/member/church attender/baptized/non-baptized/saved/sanctified/petrified.
Where do you find your identity? Is it working out well for you?