“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Yes, I know it’s cheesy (Hey, at least I didn’t use “The Bourne Again Identity”). But, it works. It’s funny how I’m drawn to stories like The Bourne Identity and its sequels. As I think about it, many of my favorite movies and other stories have as a central theme the quest for identity. Whether the main characters are trying to discover their true identity as in the Bourne series or in Good Will Hunting, Harry Potter, Forrest Gump, and many others, or they are grounded in their identity and simply trying to live it out by achieving a great destiny – Gladiator, Patton, Apollo 13, Chariots of Fire, etc., identity is central to the story of man. It is the central question in the heart of a man – “Who am I?”
Many men go on existential safaris to find their identity. A great example is Tristan in Legends of the Fall. He has the heart of any woman that comes near, it seems, but he cannot be content until he literally travels the world – hunting, loving, eating, drinking, experiencing as much as he can. He is the Prodigal Son seeking adventure beyond every horizon (without quite the same measure of wisdom, perhaps, at the end of his quest). Sadly, many men end their quest as tragically as Tristan (not to mention the rest of the family in his story). So many fail to come to the place of the Prodigal Son, of whom it is said,
“…he came to his senses…” – Luke 15:17
So many refuse to surrender to their true identity, having been made in the image of God (Genesis 1) and chosen by Him to be adopted as his sons (Ephesians 1) to experience his kingdom (Matthew 13) and life in all its fullness (John 10:10).
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” – Ephesians 1:7
Instead, they choose to find their identity in work, religious activity, politics, other people,… the list goes on and on. Look, I get it. It’s a quest built into the heart of every man. God has “set eternity in the hearts of men,” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Make your quest, just don’t waste it.
Where do you find your identity?