A recent news article described UFC fighter Ronda Rousey’s thoughts about suicide following her loss to Holly Holm. In the article, Rousey is quoted as telling Ellen DeGeneres, “What am I anymore if I’m not this?’ I was literally sitting there and thinking about killing myself.” This is a sad admission, yet it is something that can be heard just about anywhere.
It is very easy to get wrapped up in something so tightly that it becomes our sole source of identity. And, while this approach can work for a certain amount of time, the trouble is that worldly things will almost invariably let us down eventually. For Rousey, this happened to be when she lost her first fight as a professional fighter. For others, it may be the loss of a job, a broken relationship, loss of social status, or something else similarly devastating.
For Rousey, her source of inspiration in those dark moments was found in turning to other worldly conquests. According to the article, she told DeGeneres, “To be honest, I looked up and I saw my man Travis standing there and I looked up at him, and I was just like: ‘I need to have his babies. I need to stay alive.’” While this sounds nice, the question then turns to what happens when the kids grow up or rebel?
When we allow our identity to be determined by others, we turn our back on the one true source of identity for humans: God. The Scriptures teach us that we were made in the image of God, and as such we are of great value simply for being human. A fighter can lose a fight and, consequently, lose their identity. A person consumed with a career can lose that job and then be lost and questioning who he or she really is. But, a person who knows that true identity is found in relationship with God will never have to worry about losing that identity.
If I lose my job tomorrow, I will still be someone made in the image of God and loved by Him. I may lose everything, but He will not forsake me. My identity is in Christ, and that is something I seek to remember constantly. So many people are hurting today, wondering who they are and how they fit into this world. They look to the outside world for help, but impressed on their very being is the answer. We all bear the image of God.