Identity – the search for who I am. Identity has been defined as “who we experience ourselves to be”. It is who we are and how we define ourselves. The search for one’s identity is deep and powerful and it shapes how we feel, think and act. If you want to find and know your place in the world – you have to know who you are.
Throughout history people have searched long and hard to find their identity. This search is often in external measures…such as occupation, the roles we live, financial status, race, gender, persuasion, appearance, other’s opinions, whatever image we can present to get others to see us a certain way. We feel pressured to define ourselves by these external things because we think they give us our worth and our significance.
I think our identity should be found in something more eternal and divine.
Philippians 2 is an amazing passage giving us insight into the life of Jesus. Paul helps us understand not only Jesus' attitude but I believe also how Jesus was able to live in this attitude.
Jesus was able to live in the right attitude and model amazing characteristics...such as selflessness, humility, letting go, servanthood, obedience and sacrifice because he understood his identity.
Jesus knew who he was and he defined himself by that identity. Jesus knew exactly who he was in relation to God the Father and what his role as the Messiah was to entail.
Because Jesus understood his identity so well he did not have to try to define himself by some external measure, appearance or means. Jesus was set free from the endless pursuit of the external things such as status, wealth, appearance or other's opinions - trying to present some image that would give him worth or significance in this world. Jesus was set free to pursue his relationship with God the Father and his work in the Kingdom of God.
We are going to be looking at Philippians 2 for a number of weeks - learning about our identity and how we too can have the same attitude as Jesus.