For we are God's handiwork [poiēma--masterfully crafted poem], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
How many of you struggle with identity issues? It doesn’t have to be some epic struggle over worthiness to live, political affiliations, or sexual identity, but could be issues caused by peer pressure, or deciding which college to go to—or the ultimate: “What will I be when I grow up?” Maybe abuse has caused an identity crisis in your life; or relocating to a new city, state, or country; or you may be tasked with the challenge of discovering: "Who am I after my parents split?” “…after a messy divorce?" "...after my spouse died?" Identity challenges are huge in our culture and we all go through some sort of major identity shifts and even crises many times throughout life.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)
The real question for you as a Christian is this: Where does my identity really come from? Does it come from my job, my family, my education, or my sexual orientation? Your heart-set, that is your identity, has to become rooted in Christ Jesus. This way, when you struggle with personal and worldly identity issues, you automatically turn to Jesus Christ—the rock you stand on. If you have friends who struggle with identity issues, you can point them to the Risen Savior—because, when they too accept his salvation and forgiveness, their sins are covered because of the cross and their worthiness becomes heaven-based. They also become a new creation (poiēma) and the Holy Spirit now resides in them and empowers them to live for Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When someone is going through an identity crisis, the most important question to ask them is not how bad of a sinner or loser or worthless sop they are, but rather this: Do you know Jesus? Do you know that this Jesus has been raised from the dead? Do you know he paid for ALL sins and shortcomings? But sadly and all too often, we can't bring some lost soul to church for an identity check because they are already judged so harshly by others for their sins or lifestyles that they don't feel they could—or even should come along. So, how about if you and I stop being someone's excuse to turn away from God? How about we love and accept, and share this Jesus and the salvation he died to give them. How about if we join God in His plan to save the lost?
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)