Identity: The Search for Significance

9 10 2008

The newest series at The C.O.R.E. is entitled “Identity: The Search for Significance” which is based on Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance – Student Edition, 2003 [W Publishing – based on The Search for Significance, 1998]. The substance of this post comes directly from or is based on the content of the book.

The basic job description of a teen includes (1) getting along with and fitting in with peers and (2) developing a personal identity. In other words, finding out who they are and how they fit into this messed-up world.

As children, we go along with what our parents want for us. We share their agendas for our lives. But as puberty wreaks its havoc on our bodies and minds, we begin to find our identity apart from our parents. Growing up to be like our parents may very well be our worst nightmare, but life was so much simpler as a child.

Now there are expectations. And the bar is set pretty high. What you do is never good enough. And teens think to themselves… “Nobody will ever love me.” “If people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.” “I’ve been a failure all my life.” “I guess I’ll always be a failure.” “I’ll never be able to change.” “Not even God really cares about me.” It’s a time of incredible insecurity.

Adults often tell their children that they wish they could go back to their teen years. “They were the best years of my life.” Sound familiar? Well, if the teens years are the best, then this must all be a cruel joke, right? Young girls starve themselves to feel pretty, teen guys burst out with anger at any little thing, and a spirit of depression and hopelessness permeates our teen culture. Everyone wants to be happy and successful and to regard him or herself as a valuable human being, but is it possible that we have been told some big lies about one of the most important aspects of life?

  • That we have to be perfect…
  • That we have to be beautiful…
  • That we have to be the best…
  • That we have to look, act, and be number one…

Our sin nature causes us to rebel against God and attempt to find security and purpose apart from Him, when all along God offers unconditional love and acceptance as the basis for a strong sense of personal self-worth. Through Jesus Christ we experience the security and significance for which we were created – not just in eternity beyond the death of our human bodies, but here on earth as well.

We have compelling, God-given needs for love, acceptance, and purpose. But Satan would offer us an equation which goes against God’s plan:

Self-worth = Performance + Others’ Opinions

And God will allow us to follow the temporary pleasures (money, sex, and power) in our search for who we are. But He wants so badly to save us from ourselves!

Next post: Identity – The Performance Trap

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