Most Christians, if they were being honest, would tell you that they struggle invariably to understand their identity in Christ. One moment you can be reading the scriptures, which point you to the blessed life and the promises of God that are available for God’s children, and the next, you’re facing a barrage of challenges, many spiritual.
Consequently, maintaining consistency as to who you are in Christ is the challenge so many Christians face. However, a new book has just hit the market that aims to remind Christians globally of their complete identity in Christ.
The Identity Project is the work of Jessica Harper, who has not only watched people struggle with their identity, but has faced the same issue herself.
“I struggled with my own identity growing up, wondering who was I meant to be and how I fit into the world around me,” Jessica stated. “Did my life have purpose? Was I enough the way I was? These are questions that most people ask themselves at some point in life.
“As the years went on, I realized that the places I was looking to for the answers to these questions were quite a mixed bag and often took me on a roller coaster of emotions. When I looked to the people around me for acceptance and to validate who I was, my internal world could be flipped upside down overnight by the words and actions of others.
“When I looked to the perfect and filtered world of social media to define how my life measured up, I was often left feeling inadequate and like my life could never rise to the invisible, yet unattainable standards I saw behind the images and posts.”
Jessica grew up in a Christian family, and she gave her heart to Jesus at a young age, the words and truths of the Bible were always present in her life. “It was during these years of discovery and struggle, however, that I really began to see these truths in a new light,” she stated. “I discovered that while the opinions of others, the approval of friends and the shifting trends of the culture around me could change as quickly as the wind, the words of God were constant and unchanging.
“In Matthew 7:24 Jesus describes His words as ‘foundational words, words to build a life on’.
“I found that the more I paid attention to what He said about me, the less the opinions of others mattered. The more I looked to His word to shape my future, the more purpose my life had. This book is really the result of a desire to share this journey with others, and to invite them to step into the same freedom and confidence in who God has created them to be.”
The challenge for so many Christians is the fact that while the Word is full of scripture that confirms who we are in Christ, the painful and broken experiences in life can spill over and into our worlds, tainting our image of God in the process.
“The truth, however, is that He is a perfect Father who loves us perfectly- no matter how imperfect we are,” she continued. “The more we see Him for who He truly is, the more we see ourselves for who we truly are as people created in His image and welcomed into His family through Jesus.
“I find it so heartbreaking that so many Christians are nervous, sometimes even scared, to ask God about their purpose in life. They feel that He will ask them to go to deepest, darkest Africa or something similar.
“The truth, however, is that God has created each one of us uniquely and individually, with different skills, talents, giftings, passions and abilities, and that His purpose and plan for your life is tailor made to compliment and align with your uniqueness. I believe that if you could glimpse, even for a second the purpose that God has planned for your life, you wouldn’t want to be anyone other than the person He has created you to be.”