By: Andrew Dolata

The journey of finding your personal identity in this world will leave you “chasing after the wind”. As humans, our natural tendency is to search for our identity in external things. This includes our careers, jobs, achievements, and money. This is because most of our time and effort is dedicated to our careers and our jobs. We also have to care for ourselves and the people we are responsible for, this is the importance of money, so we can provide. Other places we often look for identity is in our appearance, grades, reputation, and relationship statuses with other people. Placing our identity in these external things will:

  1. Leave us empty and desire more affirmation from a draining world.
  2. Make us feel like we are not good enough or “unworthy”.
  3. We will fall short of accomplishing the goals, passions, and purposes that have been placed in our lives.

If you’ve made it this far and feel “down in the dumps”, you’re not alone. According to Forbes, about 147 million people worry about their true identity. That is about 147 million people that struggle with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and hopelessness. I was also one of these many people that struggled with identity. I often looked to my job, finances, and others for my identity. The problem with that is that none of these are a firm foundation to build an identity on, this is because at any moment they can change. When they change, you change with it. You will find yourself chasing after the wind.

From 970 to 931 BCE, there was a great king by the name of Solomon. He had an estimated net worth of $2.1 Trillion, yes trillion. He wrote the great book of Ecclesiastes and said this, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun, all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (1:14). Later in chapter 2, he said, “I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly…I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives…everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (2:1,3,11).

King Solomon enticed himself with every pleasure and with every material possession, yet he found it all meaningless. Every external thing we have placed our identity in, a trillionaire said it was meaningless and that is was like chasing after the wind. Now if you’re asking yourself, “What should my identity be then?”, let’s look to the One who is unchanging. Our money, jobs, careers change, and we run after them like we are chasing the wind. But God is unchanging, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is forever faithful to you, so why not place your identity in Him?

When you place your identity in Jesus Christ, you can trust Him with every aspect of your life. This includes your job, finances, relationships, etc. He holds it all together. God created you, He loves you deeply beyond understanding, He wants to take care of you, and He wants to have a relationship with you. Sounds like a good deal to me! In John 1:12, it says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” By truly believing in Him, He has given us identity as His children, and a good father always takes care of his children. 

If you already believe and are still struggling in your identity, trust in the Lord. You have no one to impress; we answer to Him on the throne. This is not an excuse to not work hard or to slack off in your finances and relationships; God blesses hard work and stewardship. But trusting in the Lord has given us this promise, in Isaiah 26:3-4, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Forget the external identities of this world, stop chasing after the wind, and find your true purpose and identity in Christ! It is truly worth it.

To read more on identity and spiritual growth, read this