Youth Group Lesson On Identity
There is an ancient Indian story that tells of six blind men who attempted to describe an elephant based on what part of the elephant they were examining with their hands. Because of their blindness, they drew some pretty comical conclusions. One felt the leg and decided the elephant was a pillar. Another touched the tusk and determined it was a solid pipe. Still another grabbed the tail and proclaimed it to be nothing more than rope. The story goes on and in the end a man blessed with sight enters and sees the whole picture, that it was, in fact, an elephant.
This story is often used by world religions to describe what they incorrectly believe to be the different paths to God, but I want to use it to illustrate how incomplete our view and understanding is of ourselves. Often, we make the mistake of finding our identity without realizing that in our blindness we have seen only a tiny part of the big picture. For example, a guy may play a sport really well so he finds his identity in the fact that he is an athlete. A girl might be really pretty and therefore she’s finds her identity in her external appearance. The problem is, this is such an incomplete picture. Jesus sees so much more when He looks at us.
Read 1 Peter 2:9-10
“…for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” (New Living Translation)
What is wrong with finding your identity in the things that you can do, the way you look, the friends you hang out with, or so on? For starters, everything I just mentioned in that sentence can be taken away from you. Your actual identity, the part of you that truly and accurately describes who you are at the core of your being, cannot change. Someday you may no longer be the athlete you once were. What you see as “good looks” may change. Your true identity, is an amazing gift from God. Let’s look at a few of the things that are mentioned in those verses.
God, in all His amazing power and wisdom, has looked at you and said, “This is a person that I love. I want to know this person better. I chose you.”
You are “royalty”, which means that you are an adopted child of the Creator of the Universe. He loves you, not as a friend or a follower, but as a son or a daughter.
You are a priest. That carries so many meanings. You have the ability to help lead others to that same incredible love that God has for you.
You are a part of the Chosen People, those whom God has set aside as special to Him. You have the ability to change the world with His love and grace.
These are just a few of the things that the Bible says are your true identity. The best part is that no one can take that away from you. Nothing you do, no matter what life throws at you, your identity in Jesus Christ cannot be shaken or destroyed. Jesus sees the full picture of who you are. Allow Him to remove your blindness so that you can step into His wonderful light.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
In your own words, what is “identity”?
What are some of the “false” identities that people around you cling to? (for example: John’s identity is that he is the “smart kid”)
Why is it important to know what your identity is?
What is dangerous about finding your identity in something that can change or be taken away?
1 Peter 2:9-10 touches on a few of the ways the Bible describes our identity. Can you think of any more?
Liked this lesson? View this Youth Group Lesson on Faith