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Many people identify themselves in material terms, according to things such as their race, place of birth, occupation, and personal accomplishments. When we first meet someone, we might ask, “Where are you from? What do you do for work?” We link ourselves so closely with merely human characteristics and events that they seem to become our identity. Material identity labels are everywhere: introvert, athlete, techie, artist, disease survivor, and so on.
But material identity labels cannot reveal what we truly are. The Bible teaches that man (men and women) is made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit (see Genesis 1:26, 27). Therefore, the true identity of each one of us is spiritual, not material. Spiritual identity, as opposed to material identity, is based purely on the nature of God, and is found only in God.
As the image of God, we reflect God’s intelligence, strength, and creativity, all of which are unlimited. God, Spirit, is the source of our identity, and the more we understand what God is, the more we are able to understand what we are as God’s image and likeness—and to demonstrate that understanding in our lives. This means that limited mortal claims such as “I am not smart, strong, or talented enough,” or “I can’t improve; that’s just the way I am” are false and do not pertain to us, or anyone, because they do not pertain to God.
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
From the readers
Peggie Rood, Stephanie Peek
Our prayers for the economy
Moji Anjorin George
Prayer and ‘God’s disposal of events’
Dissolve the ‘self trifecta’ with Love
Angela Sage Larsen
Quick healing of flulike symptoms
Ralph W. Emerson
Animosity dissolved by love
Walking difficulty, pain and swelling, healed
Grace H. Carter
When rule of law rules the roost
The <i>Monitor’s</i> Editorial Board
A law that can challenge injustice
Liz Butterfield Wallingford
The power of a book—and one in particular