Identifying less and less…

Photo by Kebs Visuals

Every human has something they identify with. It’s what forms communities, friendships, networks, and so on.

It seems like in this world, we function by classifications. Maybe it’s easier to form opinions about the world, individuals, and almost anything. I think it also brings order.

We have education classes (eg. high school), social classes (eg. high-income class), social clubs, groups, professions etc. It gives us something to identify with.

It’s good to have these kinds of identities, it makes us feel like we belong somewhere and forms bonds. Where I’m concerned is when all these things we’ve identified as begin to crumble.

I have noticed that when something is part of your identity and you lose it, it’s like a chunk of you has been lost and it makes it hard to function.

Think about it.

Say you lost your job you love so much, or that relationship you spent so much time and dedication to, or that unique ability people always knew you for. Chances are that you’ve lost a part of yourself and you will find it hard to adjust. It almost always comes with insecurities.

Humans like to have an identity, it somehow builds us up and makes us feel good. We also subconsciously form these identities.

I have also realized that what we identify with or as prevents us from doing certain things. This can be positive or negative.

For example, in Nigeria, the economy is harder than it was 3 months ago with an increase in fuel prices which affected transportation and even the prices of goods. As a result, many people have had to adjust their lifestyles.

Someone who used to take a private car or Bolt to work now has to use public transportation to manage their money.

To my non-Nigerian readers, public transportation in Nigeria can be uncomfortable and is not the ideal of what you’d see in developed countries. The point is, it’s really a jump from comfort to discomfort for anyone who has to leave private transportation to public one.

Now, someone who has identified with a comfortable lifestyle and has a certain social class will struggle with public transportation. It might not even be because public transportation is uncomfortable. It might be because they don’t know what people will say or think about them. It’s their image they are trying to protect because, for a long time, they’ve identified with a high-class image (public transport is cheaper and it’s assumed only people who don’t have so much money, like the lower class, use it).

Here’s another example. You’re a great photographer who has gotten to the stage of working with amazing brands, earning amazing money, life is just so good. You’re flying high, your clients are high-ticket clients and you are just on a great level.

Imagine one day that it came crashing down or it gradually came crashing and now you shut down your business, you have to take a job with a salary that isn’t even 1% of what you used to earn monthly. What happens?

Chances are, you’d be very devastated. You will feel like a huge part of you has been painfully cut off. You might feel shame, maybe anger.


Maybe it’s because, for a long time, you’ve seen yourself as a big shot and identified as one. You look at the social circle you used to be in and wonder what they think of you. It will come with insecurities.

Now, these examples are not perfect but with the 2 examples above, imagine if you didn’t attach your identity to your work or social status.

Do you think the effect will be as great? Do you think there will be so much insecurity and shame?

What I’m learning lately

Here a comment I made on a friend’s post on Instagram about a week ago.

I have come to understand that your identity is important in your outlook on life.

I’d hear people say, put your identity in God, see yourself as God sees you, look into the word of God to know who you are, then you will not be moved by things because your identity is truly in God and that doesn’t change like your social class.

I thought all that was good and as much as I’d like that, I’m not sure I truly understood it until recently.

The more you know God in His word and through intimacy with Him, the more you see who you are. It took me a while to understand.

I think we know things without understanding but the moment we receive understanding, it changes our outlook. This was one of those moments for me.

The more I knew about God in His word, the more I understood who I am, the more confident I became, and the less I identified with things. My image didn’t seem all too important to me like before. Those things don’t define me.

I’m not going to pretend that some things don’t shake me. They probably do sometimes but my perspective to change (positive or negative) is that these things don’t define me, only God does.

I’m right here on a journey and God is leading me. If this phase of my life requires me to manage money or change careers or can’t meet up with a social group, then that’s okay. I try to embrace what this season has for me.

That’s how I see things now.

I have seen that in this world, we’re just stewards of all God has given us; wealth, career, gifts, networks etc. If you truly don’t own these things, and these things are not your identity, why should it feel like you’ve lost yourself because you lost them?

It’s easier said than done right? But I’m telling you, when you understand it, it changes how you see things.

I’m not 100% there because I’m a human in a fallen world but as I focus more on Jesus, I feel less and less inclined to these earthly identities and material things. It’s truly a way to box you, you that God has deposited a lot in.

Identify less with earthly things and identities and identify more with what God says about you.

You are one loved by God, you were redeemed by Christ to bring you to a place of intimacy with God. You have authority over the powers of darkness. You are indeed of God. This life on earth is simply a journey and you’re a steward here. Let your identity be in God.

I pray for you reading this that God opens your eyes to see how He sees you and that you have an understanding of these things.

I pray that you begin to care less about your status here on earth and focus on what God says about you.

I pray that God heals all your insecurities and you find identity in Him. I pray you also grow in the wisdom and understanding of the knowledge of God.

God loves you. He didn’t create you for your career (or any other thing) to be your identity.

In Christ Jesus, there’s more.

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