Revelation 22:4 “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.”
I’ve always struggled with my identity. For the longest time, I felt that the “Hats” I wore—the things that I did—defined me. I thought that being a student, a coach, a volunteer…that each of these things defined who I really was. But my Hats weren’t limited to my extra-curricular activities. I also felt that my actions—sometimes the good, sometimes the bad—defined me. If I went to church, I was a Church Girl. If I gossiped, I was a Gossip Girl. If I wore a Young Life shirt, I was a Young Lifer.
Think about the titles or groups with which you associate yourself. Do you wear t-shirts with your favorite band on the front? What about a school or university? Do you have sports clothes, a gothic look, or a preppy style? Whatever groups we are associated with, they give us a feeling of acceptance and status when we are with other supporters of the same group. When I see a stranger wearing a Young Life shirt, I get excited and we start talking about where we did Young Life. I like seeing my home state’s license plate or running into someone from the same college. We use groups and titles to define ourselves. We have allowed them to become a part of our identities.
When I married and moved away from home, losing all of my previous Hats, I spent the next few years thinking that I had been reduced to just Wife status. While I loved being a wife, I felt that I was less of a person because I no longer wore so many Hats, and the few that I did still wear didn’t seem as important or effective in the world.
I even wondered if I had a purpose.
What kinds of “hats” or “labels” do you wear? Which ones do you like? Which ones don’t you like?
Reading and Questions
As a child of God, we get to claim certain benefits. Revelation 22:4 says, “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” If you have God’s name written on your forehead…
1) You are forgiven
Acts 10:43, “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
2) You are loved
Read John 3:16. If it is familiar to you, try reading it from another translation of the bible. Think about what it says, and how much God loves you. If you need another thought on this, try reading Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
How much does God love us? What has he done to show us his love? Anything else?
3) You have a purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plains I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
God has a purpose for your life! Maybe he wants you to use your personal life experience and help others who are going through the same thing. As you grow with God, he will guide you and someday you could be a YoungLives leader or a leader of another teen mom group. Or, perhaps, God is going to use your other strengths in his purpose for you. Whether they are academic or physical or of a particular trade, God has a plan for you!
4) You have spiritual gifts.
Did you know that only Christians have spiritual gifts? The moment you give your life to Christ, he gives you these gifts. For some, it is the gift of administration or encouragement. For others, it may be the gift of faith, leadership, or mercy. Read the following verses that talk about spiritual gifts:
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Take note that we all have different gifts for a reason. Romans 12:4-5 says, “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
What do you think is/are your spiritual gift(s)?
How can you start using them?
5) You are a child of God
Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
We will get to share in Christ’s glory someday. On that day, because we are believers, we will experience no more pain, no more tears, and no more death. Our worries of today will not even register in our minds. Take hope in being a child of God!
1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
I know it seems hard to believe as a teen mom that you could be the example to others in speech, life, love, faith and purity. But what better person than one who has found Christ and understood forgiveness when the world wants to judge? You are conquering life with a baby at your side. You are conquering life with the odds stacked against you. You are the perfect person to show that God is an all-powerful God, merciful God.
The world will do everything it can to put Hats on you. It will try to define you, limit you, and tell you how you should act. The world wants you to be…part of the world. And in the process, it will label you in unthinkable ways.
You are a child of God. His name is written on your forehead, helping you to identify yourself as one of his children. Your status with Him, the Hat you wear that bears his Name, gives you the power, grace, mercy, gifts and abilities to reach those around you.
This, greater than all of things, is your identity.
Life Application and Further Study
Consider doing a spiritual gifts test as a group. Then talk about how you can use these gifts.
You can find one such test at http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_PDF_Discover_Your_Spiritual_Gifts.pdf
If you are a believer, go back to the top of this bible study where the title says, “Identity Crisis: Who are you?” Answer the question by writing, “I am a child of God.”
If you are not yet a believer in Jesus, consider becoming one today. Talk to your YoungLives leader, or another Christian leader, about what this means. You will surely gain peace by becoming a follower of God.
To download or print this study, click Identity Crisis: Who Are You? PDF.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.