How to Cultivate an Unshakable Identity
Your identity is like a tree. As a tree’s leaves change or fall away, so some parts of your life shift and grow—for example, your job, hobbies, or roles. These aspects of your life affect your sense of self but don’t get to the heart of who you are. The roots of your identity tree are planted in the truth that you are made in the image of God. The sturdy trunk of your tree is Christ, who has forgiven your sins, made you righteous, and brought you into God’s family.
Take a moment and visualize this large, majestic tree. It is strong, established, and no matter what winds or storms come, it stands tall.
Most of us long to be that secure in our identity, but actually experiencing such security is usually more elusive.
Shaky Ground: Planting Our Identity Outside of Christ
Why do so many of us lack confidence in who we are? Maybe we’ve been searching for our identity solely in things that fade or change—neglecting our root system and our sturdy trunk. But when we plant our identity in our Creator and Savior, the result is an unshakable sense of who we are.
This might sound like a pipe dream to you. Can it be possible to be that confident in your identity? Only when our identity is found in Christ, who never changes.
While challenges bring change and pain, they don’t have to disrupt your identity. Imagine getting laid off. You might feel angry or worried about the future, but with your identity rooted in Scripture, you won’t question your value. Or imagine facing the storm of a serious injury or illness. You grieve, but you also stand tall, knowing that you are God’s masterpiece made for good works. Or perhaps you go through a serious breakup. Yes, it hurts, but you find peace in the assurance that your Creator truly knows and loves you.
When we find our identity in Christ, we live out Paul’s words:
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.2 Corinthians 4:8–9, ESV
Planting our identity in Christ is possible—but it is an ongoing process.
Rooted in Scripture and Growing in Christ
Did you know that healthy trees never stop growing? Even if they stop getting taller, they will continue to grow wider and sturdier with every passing year. The same can be true for us if we allow God to work in our lives to establish our identity in Him.
But to experience this steady growth we must approach our sense of self holistically—by allowing it to affect not just our mind but also our emotional state, relationships, body, and actions. If we only have head knowledge about our identity, then we’ll crumble when the storms come. If we find our identity in earthly matters alone and ignore our spiritual nature, then we’ll lack peace when life inevitably changes.
Instead, we must look at the whole picture, with the Bible is our guide. As we become more and more rooted in Scripture, we’ll gain confidence in who God created us to be. And as we focus on the whole tree—instead of just a part of it—we grow in Christ: steady, strong, and unshakable.
In Part Four of our Identity Series, Unshakable, explore what it looks like for your sense of self to manifest holistically during life’s storms. Discover what Scripture says about being grounded in an unshakable identity that touches every part of your being.
Continue your identity journey—order your copy of Unshakable: A Study of Identity, Part Four today!