This begs the question: Who are you? In other words, what is your identity? As Christians, we often officially identify ourselves as followers of Christ. However, our identities are defined by any number of things—from military careers to being the hardest worker in the room, the most effective leader, or the fittest person in the unit.
While these things aren’t inherently bad, allowing them to define us is dangerous. “The fact is, we have several identities in life. They all work together to help us answer the question ‘Who am I?’ They can also overpower or twist our spiritual identity,” CH(LTC) Fred Robinson, USA (Ret.) explains. When this occurs, believers often find themselves in a “spiritual identity crisis,” as Robinson puts it.
“The world has many tempting sources of identity other than Scripture,” he says. “Some can deceptively last a lifetime. Most however, eventually lose their ability to help us find positive meaning in life.”
While Johnson enjoyed running, Christ had different plans for her priorities. “God wanted me to focus on Him and who I was in Him,” Johnson said. “He wanted me to literally stop running for my own peace and gain, and to spiritually start running the race He specifically set just for me.”
Johnson has since replaced running with hiking. Still, her identity isn’t caught up in it. God could remove that, too, and she says she’d be fine.
“What we do changes, and should change, but who we do it for should never change,” Johnson said. “I have to focus on remembering that my full value is not determined by a job, an accomplishment, or a person’s affirmation. I have to intentionally respond with faith in who I am in Christ.”