Shared Identity: Where to Start?
Shared identity and purpose is sought through a purposeful step into the journey to find it.
But how do I start this journey to find shared identity, or purpose, if I am still asking myself, ‘Who am I? Who needs me? What am I doing here? Is there anyone who I can connect with who wants the same thing? I don’t know where to start’.
I know plenty of people, including myself, that asks themselves the same thing. When we think about the direction we want to go in this life, and where a good place is to start this journey, we want to walk alongside someone who pushes us to be better, helps us understand what we’re here for, and ultimately, can get us connected with those that help secure ourselves in an identity that we can be our true selves and be proud of.
The idea of shared identity, to me, is found when we begin our journey getting connected with people who push us to step into our purpose(s). They help us be better for ourselves so we can do better for others in our community. Jim Rohn has said, ‘You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with’; when you start the journey to shared identity and purpose, plant yourself with people who lift you up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, ‘encourage and build one another up’ – in this way, we can surely find shared identity in the building up of each other’s courage and purpose, together!
Getting connected is a key step in shared identity – you can’t share an identity, or find a purpose, alone! God says in Genesis 2:18, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’. So, in the beginning, God’s purpose for us was never to be alone but to give us someone we can share an identity with, a helper.
I’ve spent many years of my adult life feeling disconnected from an identity I can be proud of. One thing I know, after getting connected to a community that has catapulted me into a purpose and identity I can be proud of, is that it takes that very community to do so or you run the risk of isolation.
So, I’ll leave you with this to think on from Acts 26:16, ‘When you are sure of the truths that you were created by God and He created you with purpose, you can be confident in the belief that your purpose will bear fruit. This confidence allows you to step boldly in your dreams and walk in your God-given purpose’.