EVERYONE at some point has an identity crisis.
Something is wrong with me.
No one understands me.
Who are these people in my family? I am nothing like them.
Identity crisis is not a new concept. It is as old as time. The early church struggled with identity just as much as we do today.
Suddenly the gates of the Gospel were open to all- Jews, Greeks, slaves, freemen, Romans. People groups across the settled globe, thanks to the missionary journeys of Paul, were embracing the message of the Gospel.
Pagan cultures and Jews alike accepted the free gift of salvation and were adopted into the family of Christ. Did they feel love and accepted? Did they fit in? Shouldn’t they have?
“As pig-eating Gentile believers-formerly goddess worshipers and Caesar magnifiers and all the rest began confessing Jesus as the Messiah, some Jewish Christians demanded to know, “Are they circumcised?” This meant of course, “Are they really our brothers?”- Russell Moore, Adopted for Life
Arguments about what to eat and if they should be circumcised erupt. Paul corrects the identity crisis-thinking in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians.
Where do these suppositions originate?
Adopted children (especially teens) are told that a deep longing will rise up in them to find out who they are. EVERYONE feels this. Every person of the face of the planet has a deep innate longing to know who they are, how they fit in-everyone desires to belong, yet they doubt their right to exist.
Everyone at some point, feels rejection, abandonment, at some level, loss, tragedy. Why is it that we purposely quantify it in terms of the adopted population, but not qualify it in the rest of the population?
Everyone qualifies for rejection. Not one person is immune to it. It the early church Paul assured the new converts.
“There is [now no distinction] neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ.” Galatians 3:27
“Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens) but you now share citizenship with saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself) and you belong to God’s [own] household. Ephesians 2:19
You do belong. You fit in God’s family. The conflict of identity is solved in Christ.