Identity. Something every young person, every person can struggle with. So let’s look at identity from God’s perspective. You’ll want a laptop/projector or large cards with words on for this.
This assembly is really about self-esteem but we’ve called it identity – this means true identity – meaning how God sees you and what God thinks of you! (You may need to identify what you mean by identity!)
If I were to ask who struggles with their identity and how they feel about themselves, I reckon we’d see loads of hands up. I’m not going to ask you to put up hands, but think and be real with yourself. How do you really feel about yourself? How do you really feel? Do you struggle with your identity? I do.
Take this from The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon. Take it from the beginning where he is trying to find out who he is.
The clip is Chapter 2 on the DVD (timing is 00:06:11 – 00:08:12). This clip does contain one swear word, so caution for that (towards the end of the clip).
Alternatively, Chapter 8 (timing 00:28:02 – 00:35:04). This is on the journey where Bourne is talking to Marie about who he is.
WHAT IS IDENTITY?
The dictionary defines identity as a way of defining yourself or being defined by others. In some countries you have to carry an ‘identity card’ but this would only tell people stuff like what your name is, how old you are, where you were born and possibly some genetic information (e.g. fingerprint, eye colour etc).
But an identity card could never tell someone who you were inside – what kind of character you had – kind, angry, hating on others, helping people, happy, sad etc.
As Christians we want to go deeper and tell you that you have a deeper, more incredible identity and that is the truth of who you are in the eyes of Jesus.
The world we live in is full of lies, full of rumour and false stuff. We have fake news, fake stories, photoshopped images, fake videos and people pretending to be what they are not. Yet so often we believe this junk. So what defines our identity?
Let me tell you a few lies that people push at you about identity:
This can be downloaded as a Powerpoint (.ppt) so you can amend and customize – click here to download as a zip file
Or just do your own video presentation or cards with these words on. You could get people up to hold up cards in junior schools / years.
1. Identity is how you look
2. Identity is what clothes and labels you wear
3. Identity is what other people say about you
4. Identity is what others think about you
5. Identity is what music you’re into
6. Identity is how good looking you are
7. Identity is how many people you’ve had sex with
8. Identity is whether you drink alcohol or take drugs
9. Identity is how tough you are
All this defines something about you – but it doesn’t talk of your true identity.
Do you know how much you’re worth? I may be into hip-hop, can DJ, produce music, play in a band and climb mountains. But as a Christian, I believe I’ve got a real identity because I met with Jesus and found real identity in him and not in a thing or in what I do.
See you can be part of a gang or a tribe but that’s all on the surface, like a mask. It doesn’t really define you. Instead, when I see you, I see unique individuals that God loves, and that God cares passionately about.
I believe I’m defined by God and not by what other people say or think. That’s the great thing about being a Christian. I’m secure to know that God loves me, cares for me, even died for me. Thing is he loves you too. He might not love everything you do, but he loves you deeply.
There’s a line in the Bible that says, ‘Perfect love casts out fear.’ And that love is talking about God’s love. You see, people are happy when they know they fit in to a group and are loved. But God’s love goes way beyond this. His love for you is a perfect love. You may have had real bad boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s or family whose love for you has been nasty or messed up. But God’s love is not like that. It’s perfect, complete. When you understand how much God loves you – when you find real identity in God, you can then find your true self, your true identity.
I’ve struggled with identity too and tried to find it in gangs, violence, music, clothes, drugs. But it locked me out from my true identity and drove me down. See one day when I gave my life to Jesus, I found my true identity and have never looked back since.
Identity is found in knowing who you are and I believe that only comes from who God says you are.